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Dairy Goat Journal

Dairy Goat Journal

Publishing bi-monthly by Countryside Publications, Ltd. 145 Industrial Drive
Medford WI  54451; 715-785-7979; http://dairygoatjournal.com

By E.K. Treppel

This publication, one of the stable of four published by Countryside Publications, addresses the concerns of breeding and raising diary goats. Many homeschoolers participate in 4-H or FFA clubs and activities – even those who do not live in very rural areas – and this publication is an excellent resource for those interested in raising, and possible showing, dairy goats. This hobby provides an excellent set of activities and achievements for young people who love animals and wish to enjoy something a bit larger and more “challenging” than rabbits or guinea pigs. Raising farm animals provides children with the opportunity to learn and develop responsibility and discipline in having to regulate one’s life by the needs of another form of life. Achieving such responsibility and discipline also instills a sense of confidence and positive self-esteem.

Of course, making delicious cheese from the goat milk is another wonderful benefit as well! Goat cheese, like goat milk, is easier on the human digestive system and lower in calories, cholesterol and fat than its bovine counterpart. Goat cheese is rich in calcium, protein, vitamin A, vitamin K, phosphorus, niacin and thiamin. French Goat cheeses are often referred to as Chèvre. Commonly imported varieties are Montrachet, Bucheron  Valençay and Sainte-Maure. Other cheeses that can be made from goat's milk include Gjetost, Cabrales, Feta and Arina.

Dairy goats represent yet another facet of the self-reliant, sustainable, nurturing and nature-friendly lifestyles that all of the Countryside publications support and endorse. In the “Philosophy” section of Countryside’s main website, is included the following “. . . a belief that the primary reward of work should be well-being rather than money.” Many homeschooling families can appreciate this point of view and see the intelligence of it. Actually, this belief could be included in the philosophy of homeschooling itself. Of course, 20 years ago, the Colfax family of Northern California, one of the most prominent families in homeschooling, raised their four sons on a goat farm. All of the Colfax sons have gone on to rewarding and fulfilling occupations. There may be a correlation.

I would strongly suggest that any homeschooling family go to any or all of the Countryside websites and at least take some of the information to heart. Whether you decide to run out and stock up on livestock or not, it is at least refreshing and beneficial to be reminded that there is a sweeter, simpler side of life to be developed and enjoyed, beyond mortgages, daily labor, etc., and nearly anytime a family wishes to experience this sweeter life, others are making it possible for us to do so! E.K.T.