Autumn Olive Farms is a family based operation in Augusta County. We have a dual focus model with a singular commitment to the health and wellness of the land, animal and the consumer. We raise the beautiful South African Boer Bok as an environmentally sound method to combat the invasive plant species problem while producing one of the finest and healthiest meats in the world right here in the Shenandoah Valley. The combination of the worlds premier, purpose bred and standardized meat goat with the fantastic forage base of invasive species here in the Valley provides a win-win situation for the land, its owner and the consumer.
We are thrilled that we were able to purchase the floor of goats at the Rockingham county fair again this year! We ended up with 85 of them.
They were running jumping and playing this morning. It must have felt really good to get out in an open space and eat green forage after being in the barn all week showing off their handsome selves! They are such nice animals from good stock. The 4-H and FFA kids did a great job raising them to showcase their potential.
The title of this blog post is appropriately named. If we had not gotten them they would not be running jumping and playing this morning. These children's hand raised goats would have been immediately snatched out of their cozy show pens and thrust into the harsh environment of large pens and trailers heading into the brutal and heartless Northeast industrial meat system. Unbelievably that was not the worst possible end result. One particular buyer in our area is actively buying 4H/FFA fair stock at high prices and they would be on their way to medical research programs focused on highly infectious diseases including leprosy research. More likely though is the medical program where these children's pet are partially blown up by the army in a controlled way in order to train medics how to stabilize severe trauma victims of IED and land mine injuries. With other options available, how could anyone choose to use young children's pets in that way?
With the very real threat of that being the outcome for the goats in this sale I am afraid we did have both a smart price and a also a "heart" price. Unfortunately for us the sale price was a lot closer to the heart price so we REALLY need to find at least one great forage job for them to earn some income to make it up.
It is true that most of our stock will one day die to become a very healthy meat product for informed consumers. Until that final moment though, all the Autumn Olive Farms goat's lives will be good days and filled with all the fascinating antics and details that make the goat uniquely what it is. In fact, although we have one of the finest meat products that a human can eat we would gladly forgo the meat side of our business if we could afford to keep all of them as full time foragers. That would require us to become Boer Bok snowbirds to Florida! Know anyone in need of our services from November to May in a fine Florida setting?