It’s a story as old as the Internet: check Facebook, click a shared link, consume content.
Except in this case, it also created a business venture for a local family.
Syndy and Chris Clark have started a Peoria-based hub of the national grazing company Goats on the Go. Their service area includes Woodford, Marshall, Peoria and parts of Tazewell County.
Hoping to expand their market impact, Syndy Clark said they have extended an offer to the city of Pekin for a free trial acre of targeted grazing.
According to the Goats on the Go website, targeted grazing is “the application of a specific kind of livestock at a determined season, duration, and intensity to accomplish defined vegetation or landscape goals.” The site stated that goats are used for their manageable size and versatility.
Clark said targeted grazing done by the goats could be beneficial for anyone who has plants — invasive or otherwise — on their property they’d like to get rid of, or for people with difficult to maneuver areas like ravines, ditches and woods.
“The goats can go in and reduce (plant buildup) by a ton, and make it a little more manageable for the regular person,” said Clark.
The Clarks live on a Roanoke farm, which has 15 goats.
Once Syndy discovered Goats on the Go, she immediately thought it could be a viable business for their goats.
“I knew that I had a herd of goats that I love, so I thought, ‘Heck, they could totally do this,’” said Clark.
After attending a training in Aimes, Iowa, the Clarks officially launched their business in May. Since, they’ve been focused on getting the word out.
They haven’t yet landed their first job, but they aren’t discouraged.
“I think this is something new that people aren’t familiar with, so I think just getting the word out there is what is important at this point,” said Clark.
Clark said she hopes to add upwards of 15 goats to the herd, putting the total somewhere between 25 to 30 working animals.
Her goal for the business is to ensure those goats are on her property as little as possible.
“From about May to — depending on the weather, of course — October, my goal is to have my goats not on my property the entire time,” said Clark, “but to be out working for other people, reducing all those weeds.”
According to the Goats on the Go website, the company was founded in 2012 by two Iowa families with a “passion for practical conservation, sustainable agriculture, and rural living.”
The company boasts Goats on the Go herds in nine states, with a herd in California to be added in 2020.
In Illinois, there is a herd in the Springfield area in addition to the Peoria area, and the company is currently seeking someone to start a grazing service in the Champaign-Urbana area.