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Goats To Go Presents at Invasive Species Management Conference

We feel it is important to spread the word and teach about using goats, and sheep, as an alternative management tool for controlling invasive species and weeds.  As a result, the Goats To Go (human) crew Maureen, Alan, Michelle, and Dave traveled to Nashville, Tennessee in December 2017 to present at the 2nd Annual Innovations in Invasive Species Management Conference & Workshop.  The conference focused on bringing together both novice and professional land managers from throughout the US.  And was co-hosted by Invasive Plant Control, Inc., the National Military Fish and Wildlife Association’s Invasive Species Working Group, the Tennessee Invasive Plant Council, the Mid Atlantic Invasive Plant Council, and the Pacific Northwest invasive Plant Council.

Goats To Go Presentation: Alan and Michelle presented the topic: “Effective Use of Goat Browsing as an Application for Invasive Species Control in Northeast Suburbs.”  The talk presented in a fun and interactive way discussed how goat browsing is a popular and effective application for controlling nuisance weeds and invasive species in northeast suburbs, as well as in heavily used for recreational areas.  Goats eating weeds, such as poison ivy and bittersweet, that can have a significant economic and ecosystem impact on suburbs and conservation lands, rendering them unusable.

How Does it Work? Goat browsing is historically one of the traditional methods for controlling weed species that take over fields and woodland areas. When goats are used for targeted areas the goats prevent the plants from flowering and seeding, thereby stressing and weakening the plants ability to continue to thrive.  Goats can also affect the area earlier than other methods when they can eat any weeds that germinated too early, or too late, to be affected by herbicides. They can help to reclaim the recreational/conservation lands that can easily be degraded by these areas that can render unusable by thick woody and shrub undergrowth; and poison ivy that is a penchant for causing skin rashes sending millions to the emergency rooms each year.  In times of declining budgets, goat browsing is proving to be a popular and effective application for controlling nuisance and invasive species.

In conclusion, the desire for goat browsing is not only for an environmentally and ecologically friendly method but also a fun option for controlling vegetation in heavily used areas such as suburban backyard and gardens, local Parks & Recs, and conservation lands.  Goats are very effective and efficient in areas that are not easily mowed neared rocks, stumps, and walls; near streambanks that are sensitive to slope erosion; and areas with near water, heavily used by human and pets, and bee populations that are impacted by the presence and use of chemicals. Areas around where the goats are browsing can continue to be used and enjoyed by the community and also draw people out to watch the goats work.

Contact us today to get on our list for a site visit and quote that starts in the growing season (mid-May to early September). greatrockfarm@gmail.com or Call/Text “Goats” to Alan at 508-451-1987.  We look forward to hearing from you.