FARMER CITY, Ill. (WCIA) – Walking through South Park in Farmer city you might be surprised to stumble upon some farm animals.
“The goats like to do the work,” Mitch Gardner, with Goats on the Go, said.
That’s right. That herd of goats you see, or hear it’s not random, and they’re not lost. They’re actually on the job.
“So long story short, we have all this poison ivy and we’re going to have people walking around out there. So how do we deal with this? You know, that would be easy on our employees. We didn’t want to spread a lot of chemicals, so we remembered Goats on the go,” Sue McLaughlin, the city manager, said.
Goats on the Go is something you can find across the country. But in Farmer City, Mitch and Sarah Gardner are in charge.
“We put a lot of goats in a small area and basically have them eat all the brush instead of picking and choosing what they want to eat. They compete with one another and they eat,” Mitch said. “They strip it clean, pretty good and they get to areas where we can’t get machinery and where we can’t, you know, where we wouldn’t want to get or want to do the work or whatever.”
With it almost being spooky season, Farmer City leaders are preparing for the haunted forest. But they looked at the area where they typically have it and said “something’s goat to give,”
It was a daunting task with a lot of poison ivy they didn’t want their employees to get into it and they didn’t want to spread chemicals. So, they took the more unconventional route.
“I was amazed at how fast they’re working. They eat a lot and it’s great how fast it’s going and they really do a good job,” Sue said.
Now you’re probably wondering, how did they get into this? Well, it started with the phrase “I was listening to this podcast.”
“This happened when he overheard a podcast from another shower. He listens to a show goat podcast and they had a speaker on who also shows dairy goats but also does the goats on the go. And he decided to run with it,” Sarah Gardner said.
Mitch was on board right away. Sarah however, she thought it was a baaaaad idea.
“I ran the idea by her. She was like, you’re crazy, no way. So then we were on a long car ride and I kind of forced her to listen to the podcast in the car and then she’s like, well, I might be able to do this. And here we are yeah,” Mitch said.
While there’s no ratio on how much work a goat can do compared to a human.
“I guarantee you, they outwork us per pound,” Mitch said.
The goats, well they can get into places and find things you and I only dream about.
“They’re like little treasure hunters they go and find things you didn’t even know existed. They uncovered a house on one job it was nice,” they said.
You can learn more about Goats on the Go here