Goats, a climate-friendly option for clearing brush
'It's not just a novelty. It actually works.'
To clear brush and briars from overgrown land, many people turn to heavy equipment. But Aaron Steele takes a different approach.
“It’s not just a novelty. It actually works,” he says.
Steele is the founder of Goats on the Go. The Iowa-based company sets up portable fencing, trucks in a herd of goats, and lets them munch away.
“Despite their reputation of being tin can eaters, they actually have some pretty strong preferences,” he says. “And fortunately for us and our customers, they prefer woody brush species and broadleaf weeds.”
Steele says grazing is better for the soil than other methods of clearing land, and it reduces the need for heavy machinery.
“So we’re burning less fuel, putting fewer greenhouse gases into the atmosphere,” Steele says.
He eventually sells the goats for meat.
“We like to think that we produce and sell the most sustainable meat on Earth,” he says. “Goat meat demands little in resources anyway, but the way our goats are raised, we’re feeding them on vegetation that is a waste otherwise.”
Goats on the Go launched in 2012. It’s been so successful that it now has franchises in 10 states. That’s about 2,000 hungry goats helping landowners reduce their climate impact.