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This business bleats money: Ventura woman turns love of farming, goats into an eco-friendly North Iowa gig

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Tammy Domonoske, owner of Get Your Goat Overgrowth Specialists, plays with her goat, Buck, on Feb. 1 in Ventura.

VENTURA | A Ventura business provides goats for hire to take care North Iowa’s overgrown vegetation and non-native species.

Get Your Goat Overgrowth Specialists rent out goats to eat and clear unwanted and overgrown vegetation.

Co-owners Tammy Domonoske and Deb Paschao are heading into their third summer in business.

Domonoske is also a manager at McIntosh Woods State Park. She has hired goats before to control undesirable plants at the park. Now, she has goats of her own.

“I got started with it at work when I had contracted some other goats,” she said. “I fell in love with working the goats and moving the goats and having goats.”

She grew up near Mankato, Minnesota, where her family farmed.

“I’m a farm girl and I kinda missed my livestock,” she said.

Some friends offered to house the goats on their property in Ventura since Domonoske lives in town.

“We got Flip-Flop, Buck, Latte, Casper, Bandit,” she said, petting each goat.

In total, she has nine goats.

“They’re very social animals,” Domonoske said, as one nibbled on the hem of her jacket. ”They’re like dogs, and you can actually almost train them like dogs.”

The goats have a wide pen to play in, complete with a trampoline and stuff to climb on during the off season. They also have plenty of old Christmas trees to eat.

“We had a Christmas tree drop off party and must have had a hundred people here,” Domonoske said.

When the weather warms up, the goats go to work.

They are used on lake shores, windbreaks, groves, old pastures and more. Using goats eliminates the need for chemical herbicides or gas-powered machinery.

The goats can also work in areas that would be uncomfortable and even dangerous for workers. Since goats are light footed, they don’t cause soil compaction or erosion issues.

“They actually thatch the soil so the water will go into the soil and not runoff,” Domonoske said.

Get Your Goat comes with their own electronet fencing and solar charger. They will build the paddock and move the goats.

Domonoske and Paschao have noticed that people have interest in seeing the goats in action

“People who had them on their lake shore do wine parties when they had them on their property,” Domonoske said.

They’re eco-friendly and family friendly.

“We have started to branch out into social events,” she said.

Birthday parties, wine parties and sledding, to be exact.

On Feb. 2, Domonoske took Buck and Flip to the Ventura sledding hill to give kids sled rides.

“We’re looking at yoga (goat yoga) but that just hasn’t transpired yet,” Domonoske said. “We’re having fun with it.”

The two post photos and videos of the goats on their Facebook page.

“They’re actually meat goats but we’ll never eat them,” Domonoske said. “They’re too friendly and we’ve named them.”

Get Your Goat books appointments from May to October.

“We’re really busy in the summer,” she said. “If you got weeds, you got overgrowth, we can sure take care of that for you.”

They will be in Nora Springs in June and will later travel as far as Des Moines. 

The goats will go to the Surf Ballroom for Green Expo in April and were featured at Christmas By the Lake.

“They’re a lot of work for us but they don't talk back to you and they cuddle with you,” Domonoske said, laughing.

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Contact Courtney at 641-421-0534 or on Twitter @CourtneyFiorini.

 

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