Last year, Gail Page-Hobbs, the owner of Caromont Farms in Esmont Virginia, put out a request for volunteers to help feed and cuddle goats during her farm’s very busy kidding season. She was shocked by the overwhelming response. Her request quickly went viral. Within three days, all of 360 volunteer slots were full. She hated having to turn people away. She was getting calls from as far away as Québec and California. It surprised her that people were willing to fly thousands of miles just for one four-hour session cuddling goats. You can read an article about last year here.
For 2017, she decided to charge a small ($10) fee to cover the extra staffing costs and help her realize her dream of never having to turn away eager volunteers.
Brian bought our tickets nearly a year in advance. So I’ve been excited about this for a very long time.
When we arrived, Gail greeted us and went over a couple of safety rules (basically, don’t eat or drink in the pens and wash your hands before you do.) She pointed out the hand-washing sink, hand sanitizer and port-a-john and told us we were free to go feed and cuddle goats.
I can’t remember the last time I saw so many happy people in one place. The adorable and playful baby goats had everyone smiling and laughing.
A couple of hours of excitement wore the little goats out and most of them settled down for a nap.
I was pretty much in heaven when some goats curled up on me and fell asleep. The tiny one behind me wasn’t tired. He kept jumping on me and the goats that were trying to sleep. It was adorable.
The goats at Caromont farm are treated well, but it costs more to do things ethically. I’m definitely willing to pay a little more to support a place like this.
A quote from the article I referenced above:
“Hobbs-Page also hopes to open the public’s eyes to understanding the cost of artisanal food. Her farm uses non-GMO feed, does not underpay the labor, and does not simply leave the goats at the stockyard, preferring to extensively interview anyone it sells goats to. ‘I’m hoping from all this crazy stuff to be an advocate for people all over the world who are doing it right’.”
By on January 15, 2016
In addition to the nearly 100 baby goats, we saw mama goats, a peacock and peahen, about a half-dozen puppies and dogs (some were in the pens with the baby goats) and a cat.