Over the years I’ve learned so much about raising, marketing, and grazing meat goats by doing the research on the information that’s out there and simply learning by doing.
This has been the source of how this website came to be (and what was my earlier farm blog). I want to share what I’ve learned so you don’t have to do all the work yourself and move up the start line.
If you haven’t yet, be sure to sign up for my Raising Goats Community list here. I share what’s happing on our farm and valuable resources and tools related to all things meat goats, marketing, and grazing.
On our farm regenerative farming practices are at the foundation of everything we do. It’s about doing what’s right to protect our natural resources and continuously build the health of our soil. It’s about farming alongside the ecosystem on our farm. Why work against nature when we can work with it? It’s a win-win for both our land and livestock.
One of the main regenerative farming practices we’re using is rotationally grazing our herd of goats (along with our small flock of sheep). In the Midwest I’ve realized that not many goat herds are raised with this approach. It’s taken a sometime to build a hearty heard that performs well on a forage-based, low-input system alone. Now that we’ve been at it for some time, it’s been so rewarding to see the strides our herd has taken with this management style.
While there’s so much opportunity in this specialty area of agriculture, it’s been a lot of work both on the production/farming side, as well as, on the retail/marketing side of things.
If you’ve been raising goats, you probably know there’s just a lack of industry umphf for meat goats and the meat. There’s very little university research, industry product development, veterinary experience, and so on. With goat meat, it’s harder to navigate the go-to-market options, and goat meat research and standards are pretty minimal. Over the years I’ve done a lot of research on what is out there, which is usually in bits and pieces, and learned a lot from the work I’m doing on our farm.
At the time I was looking to make a career shift. I knew I loved working in agriculture, but it was time to make something of my own and have more control over my pace of life.
That’s where the farm entered in. With my experience working in business, I knew I needed to find a “commodity” aka farm product that had market opportunity potential and could utilize our limited land.
While I didn’t grow up on a farm myself, I grew up in a small business family working for my dad’s construction and rental management business. Entrepreneurship, the get-it-done-yourself spirit, and trying new ventures has been a part of who I am for a long time.
Our family also spent a lot of time outdoors: gardening, camping, and enjoying nature. It wasn’t a surprise when I started high school, I took a horticulture class as an elective. After I dove into more agriculture and biology classes, joined the FFA, and my love for all things agriculture started to grow.
I own and run Cylon Rolling Acres, a grass-based livestock farm in Western Wisconsin. On the farm I raise an ever-growing herd of Boer-Kiko Cross goats and Texel sheep with regenerative and rotational grazing practices. We sell our meat at www.cylonrollingacres.com, offering a nationwide shipping or local order pickup.
Our family’s journey into raising goats started a little over 10 years ago when we purchased our farm. Both my husband Scott and I have a background in agriculture. At the time I was still working the cube life with my corporate job in the city.
Nearly 20 years working in marketing and communications in agribusiness, nonprofits, education and farming
B.S. in Agricultural Marketing Communications, with minors in Agribusiness and Print Journalism
M.S. in Agribusiness, M.S. in Education
University of Wisconsin Extension Beginning Grazing School, GrassWorks Conferences, River Country Graziers Network and Northwest Wisconsin Graziers Network Pasture Walks
Wisconsin Outstanding Young Farmer Finalist
Wisconsin Farm Bureau Excellence in Agriculture Finalist
M5 Small Business Accelerator + Mastermind Coach