Goats on the Go!
REGIONAL -- Poison ivy, honey suckle, buckthorn, autumn olive, thistle, ragweed, raspberry, blackberry and more. Along with being common nuisance and invasive species, these are many goats’ favorite weeds to eat.
Goats on the Go is an organization using goats for targeted grazing to clear acres of these weeds.
The organization was founded in Ames in 2012 by two Central Iowa families, the Steeles and the Steenhoeks, because of a shared passion for conservation, sustainable agriculture and rural living.
Targeted grazing, sometimes known as conservation grazing or prescribed grazing, uses “a specific kind of livestock at a determined season, duration, and intensity to accomplish defined vegetation or landscape goals,” according to the Goats on the Go website.
“Think of goats as bushwhackers rather than lawn mowers. They will eat grass, but they really shine on dense weeds and brush.”
After founding the organization, they realized to provide more access, they would need help. Instead of employing a large staff around the United States, they started training and supporting independently owned and operated businesses.
Andrew and Abby Schechinger of Harlan started as a affiliate in April. They serve Crawford, Shelby, Audubon, Cass, Pottawattamie and Harrison Counties.
AJ Farms is located on Quince Road and is run by parents Jake and Amy, and siblings, Abby, Jenny, Andrew and Julia. Ten years ago they started with two goats and now have around 200.
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