Young entrepreneur taps into goat power | TheFencePost.com

Young entrepreneur taps into goat power

Barbara Ann Dush
Fullerton, Neb.

Rachel Olson never planned on starting a business raising goats.

However, when her dad decided to downsize his row-crop operation, she knew that farming was no longer an option for her FFA project.

So the young entrepreneur tapped into goat power, and is now the owner of her own business, “Top of the Bale Boer Goats,” located eight miles north of Fullerton, Neb. The name for Rachel’s business came from people who passed by her house and saw goats on top of hay bales

RACHEL HAS WORKED with sheep in 4-H since she was a small child, then later goats, up into her current senior year in high school.

“I started my own operation of Boer goats originally as an FFA project along with my sheep,” Rachel explained. “At first I was a little skeptical about this endeavor but learned to love my goats. I acquired my first set of goats in the summer of 2008. I then purchased two registered bucks and eight registered nannies. Since then I have been expanding my goat herd. I now have 36 in my herd.”

What makes these four-legged eating machines special is their friendliness, low feed maintenance, and use in vegetation management.

Recommended Stories For You

Goats will gobble up even the most toxic, noxious and prickly weeds. “They’ll eat almost anything – cedar trees, leafy spurge, you name it,” Rachel said.

They can be used year round to eat weeds without disturbing the existing grass and soil, and even prefer eating brush and trees over lush grasses.

Cattle producers spend a lot of money controlling undesired plants with machinery and herbicides. They need every acre of ground capable of production.

That’s where one aspect of Rachel’s business comes into play.

Farmers and ranchers can ‘rent a goat’ from Top of the Bale Boer Goats to rid their pastures of noxious weeds. These four-legged weed eaters are not only economical, they also save the land and soil from harmful pesticides.

In addition, Rachel sells breeding stock and show goats. As a young business woman, she has learned a lot about her goats: “Just like any other livestock business, it’s been a learning experience, like knowing what vaccinations they need.

“It teaches responsibility. They’re like children. Sometimes one will get their head caught in the fence and I have to help them get it out. They’ll get into anything, but they’re entertaining and fun to watch.”

The demand for goat meat in the United States has also been increasing, due to its health benefits. Goat meat is low in fat and easily digested.

RACHEL RECENTLY participated in the high school Entrepreneurships-In-Action Program at Central Community College-Platte Campus in Columbus, Neb. The program is for high school juniors and seniors who are interested in running their own business.

Entrepreneurs learn marketing, financing, community development, technology, business development, networking and a host of other business skills.

“The entrepreneurial class really helped with marketing,” Rachel said. “It taught me how to develop a website, design business cards, and just know how to market my business.”

Central Community College employees Mary Ann Humphrey and Doris Lux were impressed with Rachel’s program participation.

“It has truly been a pleasure working with Rachel as she continues to develop and expand her goat business,” Mary Ann said. “Rachel’s passion, dedication and work ethics are an inspiration to us and her fellow students.”

Doris added: “Rachel is one of those young people that you do not find around every corner. She is quiet and yet a determined young person. Rachel will go far in her future with some type of entrepreneurial adventure. She has her feet on the ground and can visualize what the future will be for her. She has a good support system which will be an attribute for her.”

That ‘support system’ includes her parents – Vern and Cindy Olson – who will take over the maintenance of Rachel’s business when she leaves in October to attend Southeast Community College in Beatrice, Neb.

“Mom and Dad said they are going to take care of them for me while I’m gone,” Rachel said of her goats. “So I’m going to hold them to it,” she laughed.

Rachel has won numerous 4-H and FFA awards throughout her school years. “Top of the Bale Boer Goats” is the culmination of that experience and skills that continue to keep this entrepreneur’s future looking bright.

“I hope that I can keep my operation going and expand,” Rachel said, “keeping in mind good quality is always better than quantity.”

Rachel Olson never planned on starting a business raising goats.

However, when her dad decided to downsize his row-crop operation, she knew that farming was no longer an option for her FFA project.

So the young entrepreneur tapped into goat power, and is now the owner of her own business, “Top of the Bale Boer Goats,” located eight miles north of Fullerton, Neb. The name for Rachel’s business came from people who passed by her house and saw goats on top of hay bales

RACHEL HAS WORKED with sheep in 4-H since she was a small child, then later goats, up into her current senior year in high school.

“I started my own operation of Boer goats originally as an FFA project along with my sheep,” Rachel explained. “At first I was a little skeptical about this endeavor but learned to love my goats. I acquired my first set of goats in the summer of 2008. I then purchased two registered bucks and eight registered nannies. Since then I have been expanding my goat herd. I now have 36 in my herd.”

What makes these four-legged eating machines special is their friendliness, low feed maintenance, and use in vegetation management.

Goats will gobble up even the most toxic, noxious and prickly weeds. “They’ll eat almost anything – cedar trees, leafy spurge, you name it,” Rachel said.

They can be used year round to eat weeds without disturbing the existing grass and soil, and even prefer eating brush and trees over lush grasses.

Cattle producers spend a lot of money controlling undesired plants with machinery and herbicides. They need every acre of ground capable of production.

That’s where one aspect of Rachel’s business comes into play.

Farmers and ranchers can ‘rent a goat’ from Top of the Bale Boer Goats to rid their pastures of noxious weeds. These four-legged weed eaters are not only economical, they also save the land and soil from harmful pesticides.

In addition, Rachel sells breeding stock and show goats. As a young business woman, she has learned a lot about her goats: “Just like any other livestock business, it’s been a learning experience, like knowing what vaccinations they need.

“It teaches responsibility. They’re like children. Sometimes one will get their head caught in the fence and I have to help them get it out. They’ll get into anything, but they’re entertaining and fun to watch.”

The demand for goat meat in the United States has also been increasing, due to its health benefits. Goat meat is low in fat and easily digested.

RACHEL RECENTLY participated in the high school Entrepreneurships-In-Action Program at Central Community College-Platte Campus in Columbus, Neb. The program is for high school juniors and seniors who are interested in running their own business.

Entrepreneurs learn marketing, financing, community development, technology, business development, networking and a host of other business skills.

“The entrepreneurial class really helped with marketing,” Rachel said. “It taught me how to develop a website, design business cards, and just know how to market my business.”

Central Community College employees Mary Ann Humphrey and Doris Lux were impressed with Rachel’s program participation.

“It has truly been a pleasure working with Rachel as she continues to develop and expand her goat business,” Mary Ann said. “Rachel’s passion, dedication and work ethics are an inspiration to us and her fellow students.”

Doris added: “Rachel is one of those young people that you do not find around every corner. She is quiet and yet a determined young person. Rachel will go far in her future with some type of entrepreneurial adventure. She has her feet on the ground and can visualize what the future will be for her. She has a good support system which will be an attribute for her.”

That ‘support system’ includes her parents – Vern and Cindy Olson – who will take over the maintenance of Rachel’s business when she leaves in October to attend Southeast Community College in Beatrice, Neb.

“Mom and Dad said they are going to take care of them for me while I’m gone,” Rachel said of her goats. “So I’m going to hold them to it,” she laughed.

Rachel has won numerous 4-H and FFA awards throughout her school years. “Top of the Bale Boer Goats” is the culmination of that experience and skills that continue to keep this entrepreneur’s future looking bright.

“I hope that I can keep my operation going and expand,” Rachel said, “keeping in mind good quality is always better than quantity.”