The adults were huffing and puffing, and children were scampering up and down the hills like billy goats. The weather was perfect - overcast, windy with no bugs, and balmy temperatures. And the farmer hosts for the Saturday, May 28 field day of the Uplands Watershed Group, Wisconsin Meat Goat Association and its several cosponsors shared details of a fascinating story.
Cherrie Nolden and Allen Philo of 1dr Acres outside of Dodgeville explained to 75 or 80 attendees how letting their herd of goats roam free across their well-fenced acreage simultaneously produces well-fed meat goats that bring profitable prices at the market, clear the invasives and brush from their land to create a better silvopasture for later use by sheep and horses, and selects for strong and healthy animals over the longer term. And of course, the perennial nature of their system protects soil and water.
We learned how the varying soil types on their land favor certain types of management, and how allowing animals to select their own micronutrients lets them optimize their health. We munched on great meat goat snacks and had conversations about the need for new meat processing facilities in Southwest Wisconsin and nearby states of the Driftless Region.