And the answer was…goats.

The students in my mitigation class had to propose and detail a creative mitigation strategy for their last assignment of the semester.  They could utilize up to $100,000 for their strategy and address any hazard they wanted to. I got some very detailed and elaborate proposals – some that met the mark and some that didn’t.  Some students went around the block a few times in their proposal and got lost trying to find their way back, while others never really left their porch.  Some of them made the assignment harder than it was.

There were some students that got it just right though – case in point – Brandon’s proposal about how to clear the underbrush in fire-prone areas.  Brandon took a cue from Google Headquarters who utilized an innovative approach to deal with clearing fields near their facility and expanded on it.  I know what you are thinking…Google is, after all, one of the most technologically savvy companies in the world…it makes sense that their solution to underbrush would be cutting edge.

I had to give props to Brandon for taking the basic concepts within Google’s solution and expanding upon them to create his own strategy.  I have to say it was nothing short of brilliant…oh, and decidedly inexpensive compared to other options.  The answer was…goats.  Yes, you read that correctly – goats.  The same goats that will eat just about everything to include underbrush – yes…real live goats.

Brandon thought through the process, analyzed potential pitfalls and at the end of the day had a top-notch proposal that was “bleat-ing” fabulous (I know…that was baaaaaad). ;-)   Bravo to Brandon for realizing that sometimes goats are indeed the answer.  Sometimes less is more.

I won’t soon forget the creativity of Brandon’s solution – indeed, I just dashed off a letter to Santa.  Since he never brought me that pony I asked for all those years ago I asked that he make up for it by bringing me a goat this year.  My days of worrying about having the lawn mowed will be over when I wake up Christmas morning to a goat under my tree.  And as for the answer Santa wants to hear, “Uh sure…I was nice…mostly…I had nice intentions…yeah, I was nice…really…can I have my goat now?” :-)

Day five hundred and twenty-six of the new forty – obla di obla da

Ms. C

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About Ms. C

I teach at NDSU...but I remain a student of life with all the enthusiasm that entails. My favorite saying is, "Sometimes you have to take the leap and build your wings on the way down." In the new forty that is what I am doing...building my wings.
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One Response to And the answer was…goats.

  1. Delbert G. Moore says:

    A public golf course in Bismarck used goats this summer for clearing forbs and brush in a rough course area by using goats in movable pens. About the only thing needed other than the pens was water which a golf course has plenty of. Goats are quite commonly used for small but dense leafy spurge and other noxious weed patches. Since goats prefer forbs to grass they can also be used on large pasture areas to clear scattered wee infestations. With the rise in Middle East and Hispanic populations goat ranching is becoming common and a couple of SD Livestock Auction markets have monthly goat auctions.

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