There are many benefits to using goats over conventional landscaping techniques. Grazing does not involve toxic herbicides and reduces the use of noisy fossil-fuel driven machinery. Goats can go where people and machinery cant, such as steep slopes or areas of dense vegetation. They are particularly fond of plants that humans particularly hate, like poison ivy and thorny brush. Goats reduce the soil seed bank, reducing weed regrowth. To top it all off the goats leave behind free fertilizer.
Using goats is also great for building community spirit and reconnecting with nature in an urban setting. It’s a great PR opportunity for businesses and organizations looking to implement green initiatives. And goats are cuter than a weedwhacker!
- Steel City Grazers does not support the overuse of synthetic herbicides for vegetation control. Using goats is a natural alternative.
- Steel City Grazers is a proponent of urban agriculture. Having goats on display in the city is a way to show support for, and start a conversation about, keeping livestock in urban settings.
- Steel City Grazers believes in the ethical treatment of all livestock. Each goat is raised with love and care. The health, safety, and contentment of the herd are our top priorities.
Herd Certification and Health
Steel City Grazers’ herd tested negative for CAE, CL, and Johne’s in October 2015. Males are neutered. Females are registered with the American Dairy Goat Association. None of the goats have horns.
Carrie and Doug have always had a fondness for goats, but it wasn’t until Carrie’s Peace Corps service in Zambia that she got some goats of her own. When she returned to to the US, Carrie and Doug started Arlington Acres Farm in the city of Pittsburgh. The urban micro-farm has two Nigerian Dwarf goats used for dairy, as well as chickens, beehives, and crops. Arlington Acres had been approached several times with requests for weed removal services and event rentals. With only two goats and a focus on dairy, Arlington Acres has not had the capacity to fulfill these needs. However, these requests planted the seeds of a possible future goat grazing business.
Through the good work of Tree Pittsburgh, excitement for goat grazing started to grow in 2014 when an out-of-state grazing company was brought in for a one-day demonstration in Polish Hill. Grow Pittsburgh continued the momentum by bringing interested parties to the table in hopes of supporting goat grazing in Pittsburgh. It then seemed fitting that Pittsburghs only contemporary* urban dairy goat farm expand to become Pittsburghs first goat grazing business.
*Urban agriculture in Pittsburgh is nothing new! Check out the historical livestock photos below.