SHELBURNE – With the price of cow’s milk refusing to climb above lower-than-average levels, many Vermont farmers are now cutting costs by switching to goats. Goat’s milk can be sold for higher prices, and the smaller animals cost less to keep.
William Gruff of Shelburne has been keeping cows his entire life, but has now made the switch to an all-goat milk production farm. “Goats are way better!” Gruff told The Winooski. “First of all, they only have two teats, so you can double your production. Just line ’em up side-by-side, two to a machine, and boom! Twice as much milk!”
According to Gruff, goats are also much cheaper to feed, as they eat tin cans, cardboard, and other materials that otherwise would have been recycled or trashed. When the higher price of goat’s milk is factored in, Gruff estimates a 700% increase in profits from the new set-up.
“We used to send milk to China, before Trump screwed that up, and we’ve been suffering ever since,” Gruff said. “But now, with the goats, well, it’s about the best position the farm’s been in since I took it over from my dad. Vermonter’s love goat’s milk. They’ll pay just about anything for it. Our trash bill has gone way down too!”
Gruff isn’t the only farmer looking to escape the decline of the traditional dairy market. Over three dozen Vermont farms have begun the process of converting cows to goats over the past four months, although not everyone is planning to jump ship.
“Oh, I say let ’em go,” said Cat Tully, owner of a dairy farm in Richmond. “Let ’em flood the market with their goats. Once I’m the only game in town I’ll be able to charge whatever I want for rare cow’s milk!”