Goat rental business takes bigger bites
By Christina Williams, Sustainable Business Oregon
Sustainable Business Oregon
When Cricket Wireless was looking for a way to clear blackberry brambles from its cell tower sites, the company’s tech operations team called Georgina Stiner at Goat Rental NW.
This week, Stiner delivered — and a ragtag band of 20 goats showed up for work.
Goat Rental NW is growing quickly, capitalizing on the earth-friendly trend of using hungry ruminants to keep invasive plant species in check without having to resort to chemical sprays.
And while most of Goat Rental’s business, which launched in February, has been for residential property owners, businesses are starting to take notice.
"We're going with a greener approach," said Keith Casey, network operations manager for Cricket.
This week's job is a trial for the company, but Casey said he expects to go on contract with Goat Rental NW for 30 or 40 of the company's 260 cell sites in Oregon and Washington — the ones with the worst blackberry problem.
Stiner charges a minimum of $300 per day. A 3,200 –square-foot plot of land overgrown with blackberries can be cleared by the goat brigade in two days. Her herd of 70 goats continues to grow — mostly through adoption of unwanted goats in a variety of breeds — she hopes it will number well into the 100s by next year.
"The response has been overwhelming," Stiner said. "People have been waiting for a service like this and with the rainy season we had this year, all the growth has really been taking off."
Livestock for Landscapes, a Colorado-based website, lists three goat rental outfits in Oregon and three in Washington. Goat Rental NW, which operates on three acres in Damascus, is the only one in the Portland-area.
Other than the rainy season, goats spend most of their time on jobs away from headquarters. Except new moms: Goat Rental NW provides a generous maternity leave.
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