Agriculture and Harvest Public Media
Thu July 10, 2014
A herd of goats are the newest employees of the Iowa Department of Natural Resources. 64 of them will be eating their way through a 7 acre patch in Ensign Hollow Wildlife Management Area in Northeast Iowa's Clayton County. There's dense vegetation there that's preventing hikers, bird watchers and anglers from using the area as much as they could. That dense vegetation is also a challenge for traditional heavy mowing equipment because of the steep terrain. The goats have with them a pair of chocolate colored miniature donkeys who will run off any would be predators. The DNR will leave the goats in the area until September and then decide if renting the goat herd is cheaper than fueling and maintaining the mowers. It's certainly more environmentally friendly than burning, applying chemicals or plowing under the vegetation.