“And thou shalt have goats’ milk enough for thy food, for the food of thy household,
and for the maintenance for thy maidens.”
Along with the other things we grow and produce on our farm, one of our missions is to help provide milk, meat, and income to families in need by providing them with carefully selected milking goats and breeding stock. It all started with a goat. Or rather, five goats…
How it all Began
When my husband Jon and I first started making plans to get a goat (emphasis on A goat!), we didn’t have anything big in mind. We hoped to provide milk for our family, and gain some experience with animal husbandry. We set out looking for a doe (my main qualification was that she be pretty!) and as we looked at different goats available in our area, it came to our attention that a woman close by was selling her entire herd of Nigerian Dwarf Goats and offering five of them (four females [two of whom were pregnant], and one male) for around the same price I normally saw just two females going for. We didn’t have the money for them, but we knew it was an incredible opportunity and we thought that if we bred them all through twice, selling the kids we didn’t want to keep (we figured two was the most we’d ever want,) we could recoup all our costs and even make a little money in the end.
We began seriously thinking about it, and I asked Jon how he felt about me asking my (step) dad for a loan. He agreed, and as we continued to think about the possibilities, an idea came to us…
What if we DIDN’T sell all of the kids, but kept enough of them around so that we could start giving some away each year to families like ours? And what if we kept our buck so that those families would always have a buck to breed their females to when they were ready for kids (at no cost?) In that way, we’d be providing a family not only with milk from the goat, but also with kids each year that they could either keep or sell to make a little extra money.
And so, our little project began.
We have learned so much since then, and we realize that we have a LONG way to go. Something that has enabled us to take a giant leap forward – one we could never have foreseen – is the generosity of Jim and Kathy Sullivan of Jasper Pine. They have not only made it possible for us to purchase goats from some of the best dairy genetics in the Nation, but have also given us fencing, hay feeders, a milk stand, and many, many other things from their own breeding program, and have volunteered their time to walk us through this wonderful new world of breeding and caring for these amazing animals.
As this project grows, it will forever have had its foundations in a few very special people. Our friends Manuela, Patrick, Michelle and Troy who have built things for us, brainstormed with us, prayed for us, and dreamed with us every step of the way, along with our friends Tracey and Amy who have patiently answered thousands and thousands of questions from me. My dad and brother (Rick and Derrick) who helped us to purchase our first set of fencing and my mom, Nancy, and mother-in-law, Elaine, who have helped us in countless ways and have been our prayer warriors throughout this venture. Our friend Alan who bought us our first cow (notice, I said “FIRST!” We have big dreams for cows!) and Jim and Kathy Sullivan, whose generosity enabled us to purchase the goats who are the cornerstone of this project. My brother, Shane, who has been financially contributing toward the monthly lease payment and care of the animals and has been my personal cheerleader as we’ve grown and dreamed of things to come. And finally, my dad Richard and his wife Janice, who didn’t loan us the money for our first set of goats but gave it to us, and have not only contributed financially in other huge, unimaginable ways but have also championed me every step of the way and inspired me to dream. None of this would be what it is, if not for them. We are forever grateful.
How the Program Works
Each person who participates in the program will receive – free of charge – two goats. Depending on how much milk they want/need and how many families are on the waiting list, they will receive either two does/doelings or one doe/doeling and a wether. As funds permit, they will also be supplied with the things they need to start caring for their goats (fencing, hay feeders, a startup ration of hay and grain, etc.) In return, we ask that the first doeling and littermate born on their property be passed on to another family in need.
Our long-term plan is to continue improving our lines so that the goats participating in the program are getting better and better each year, not only providing more and better milk for families, but also giving participants the ability to sell the offspring for higher profits (should they choose to do so.) Our desire is not to simply provide participants with a goat – we want them to have some of the best goats in the nation!
If you or someone you know could benefit from this program, please contact us. Each person who participates helps to extend that blessing to other families and keep the project going!
If you would like to support this project, click HERE and enter the password “milkenough” to purchase photographs and notecards, or donate by clicking the “donate” button on that page.