Wisconsin Goats Go Green
Lake Minnesuing Farm Led Goats on Plant Eating Parade
DULUTH, Minn.- While herds of Northlanders flocked to the polls for their civic duty, a herd of Northland Animals took the streets of Bennett Wisconsin, for their environmental duty.
Breaking up the normal landscape of candidate signs on Bennett Road: goats on parade.
Many are named after food: Sugar, Mama Coco, Maggie, Ginger, Ruby Tuesday, Devon, Mary Jane, Chippers, among others.
And the Grand Marshal of the Goats: Rebecca Loken from Lake Minnesuing Farm.
“Today, we are moving goats back home. They’ve spent all summer working on some pasture reclamation and some invasive species control.”
The goats walk the entire journey, stopping every now and then to snack on some Buckthorn, Canada Thistle, and other invasive plant species.
According to the Wisconsin DNR, Buckthorn is the state’s most common invasive species.
It’s identified by ovular, opposite leaves; and clusters of round, black, pea-sized fruit.
If you don’t have goats at the ready, you can pull the smaller plants by hand, or dig the larger ones out with tools, like a weed wrench.
Anything to get them out, as they have can have a devastating effect on their surrounding plant life.
“Those plant species have a way of choking out the native plant species that feed the birds and small rodents and all of the wildlife that depends on the other wildlife,” Loken said.
Not only is the goat method more fun, it’s more eco-friendly.
“By hitting certain areas with goats rather than pesticides, or chemicals, it’s a more natural way to bring back the natural, native plant life,” said Loken.
On today’s election day, Loken took environmental awareness into consideration when casting her ballot.
“It does matter, especially how our local government treats the environment, as to how I vote.”
As for Mama Coco and her goat group, they’d vote on more simple terms.
“They would have voted for more food, more healthy food,” Loken said.