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Friday, June 22, 2012

Taking the Plunge

I had truly fallen off of the wagon....no, I am not a drinker, but I had lost my motivation for our farming adventure and home-based business...I felt like we were spinning in circles and I was getting so very frustrated with everything.  So...I decided to contact the County Extension office and see if we could get a "farm visit" to determine if we could do what we are doing on our farm.  I got a pleasant response from the extension office, also with an invitation for the "goat expert from the state" to accompany him to our farm.

So, the 2 of them came to visit us today.  I was able to take the day off of work to be here when they came so that we could both take in all of the information and ask all of the questions that we had.  I am thrilled to report that it went better than we could have ever imagined.  Yes, we can do what we want to do on our farm; goat cheese, goat soap, goat lotion, etc.  We can run a herd of the size that we want (15-20 does) and all of it is very feasible.  It is going to take a great deal of hard work, but neither Tammy or I are afraid of hard work; in fact I think that we both function at our best when we have too much to do. 

We also obtained a lot of important contacts in regard to visiting other farms, alfalfa hay, etc.  We have learned that there is a vastly growing market in this area of the country for the products that we want to sell.  We were also told that we are on the right track.  We have only been here for 18 months and they told us that we are "right where we should be" in regard to building our herd and making plans for our future.  It is time to start trying out recipes and firming some of our plans.  We are going to a new farmers training on July 7th that is being held on the only goat cheese creamery (Bleugrass Chevre-Susan Miller) in our state and have already started making contacts through just registering. 

Tammy always worries that she is "too old" to start a new career.  However, she goes non-stop and that is certainly not the case.  The men who were here today told us about a sheep dairy in Bath County (Owingsville) which was just established and is the only one in the state; it is run by Sanford and Colleen Dotson and is named Good Shepherd Farm.  They are a retired couple and just starting out.  We found it to be a "sign" when we were at Kroger this afternoon and picked up a Kentucky Monthly magazine and Tammy opened up the magazine right to an article about this couple and their 2 year old farm. 

So...there you have it....we are going to do this...... at a pace that we can handle financially and with a house FULL of children.