|Goats R Us
At first glance Terri Oyarzun's just another hard working Mom. From the
hustle and bustle of keeping schedules straight, to keeping bellies full,
it's all family all the time. But Terri's family is not your average clan.
That's because Terri's family consists of more than four thousand goats
constantly clamoring for feeding and care.
Terri says, "Goats are very trusting animals, they're very loving,
they're very docile animals. They're fun, and they're athletic; they do
all kinds of hysterical antics when they're younger." But there's more going on here than fun and games. While the goats provide
the brawn, Terri, husband Egon and son Zephyr are the brains behind a
company called Goats R Us. With the help of their massive four-footed
workforce, they've quickly become a leader in the business of brush control
and fire prevention. To put it simply
the more their goats eat overgrown
brush, the less chance there is for it to catch fire during the dry summer
Doug Renz who works for the City of Sacramento Marina welcomes the help
of hungry animals who can boldly and safely go in to areas that would
be dangerous and difficult for city workers.
"What we had here was as excessive amount of vegetation on the 2
to 1 slope, which is very steep and it started to create a fire hazard
and it was also a safety concern and so we were looking for an environmentally
friendly way to remove that excessive vegetation and we think goats are
the solution", said Doug.
When they're not out eating for a living the bulk of the Goats R Us workforce
grazes the day away in the hills and valleys of Contra Costa County. Meanwhile,
back at the goat ranch, the humans are always hard at work.
Terri says, "It's a lifestyle, it's a commitment that you sit down
and say this is what I'm going to do. But it makes it very worthwhile
and we are very proud of the accomplishment and we can do it as a family.
There's the word again, family. Along the way Terri's learned a successful
business is built on the ties that bind together creatures large and small.
From the shepherd's they've recruited from South America, to the border
collies that make sure the littlest ones don't get lost, everyone gets
a daily dose of tender loving care. For Terri it all flows from a deep-seated
belief that we're all connected.
Terri said, "I'm Native American and I was raised to respect the
Earth and respect animals, but I think from a personal belief and years
of experience I do believe that people should create a symbiotic living
environment with other people, with animals, with the environment."
And if she's proud of her profits, Terri's true joy in life comes from
being a mom to her son Zephyr and teaching him the finer points of life
on a ranch. While other kids his age are busy playing videogames and watching
TV, Zephyr spends the bulk of his time feeding the animals on the farm. Zephyr said, "I don't watch a lot of TV because I have a lot of chores
to get done, I like to be out with the animals, it's more fun."
As her business of brush control continues to flourish, Terri maintains
it's the things you can't buy in life that are the most important. And
while the thought of taking care of 4,000 kids would make most other moms
turn and run, Terri says she wouldn't have it any other way.
If you'd like to learn more about Goats R' Us visit their site at: www.goatsrus.com