While most folks are winding down their holiday celebrations at December’s end, the goats of Ames company Goats On The Go eagerly await their own seasonal feast - discarded Christmas trees. Better yet, your discarded Christmas trees.
If the thought of eating prickly, piney Christmas trees doesn’t exactly whet your appetite, consider that these are brush goats, used throughout the growing season as a sustainable means of controlling weeds and brush on customers’ properties. And, they haven’t had their favorite foods since the grazing season ended in mid-October.
So willing are the goats to eat the trees’ needles and bark, in fact, that Goats On The Go is hosting an event to help you dispose of your Christmas tree. Dubbed “Goats On The Snow,” this free event on Saturday, January 2 promises to brighten even the joyless final act of the Christmas season. Event-goers can leave their Christmas trees to be fed to the goats throughout the winter, watch the herd in action, and donate to a good cause. All proceeds from the event will go to the “Kid for a Kid” program of His Hands for Haiti, an organization that donates goats to needy children there. Goat ownership teaches children about responsibility and provides much needed income for their families.
“Goats On The Snow” is a cooperative effort between Goats On The Go, LC and Steenhoek Environmental, an Ames-based company that handles landscape waste and produces high-quality compost. Chad Steenhoek, co-owner of both companies, says the enterprises complement each other perfectly, even though the connection might not be obvious. “It’s the perfect match,” says Steenheok. “The goats eat weeds and brush in the summer, reducing the need for chemicals and machinery. The woody branches and trunks they don’t eat can be disposed of here at Steenhoek Environmental, made into wood chips, and combined with the goats’ manure to produce the best compost in Iowa.”
So why Christmas trees? According to Steenhoek, they serve as a readily available dietary supplement when the goats most need it. “Goats do best with variety in their diets, but during the winter all they usually get is hay. The trees are also a natural dewormer, so we don’t have to use much medicine to fight internal parasites. “And,” quips Steenhoek, “what’s cuter than a goat eating a Christmas tree?”
“Goats On The Snow” will take place on January 2 only, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Steenhoek Environmental, 3892 N 50th. Ave., Ames. No trees will be accepted once the event ends. More information can be found at GoatsOnTheGo.com.
For more information, contact:
Aaron Steele, Co-Owner
Goats On The Go, LC