Making the case for goats

Sarah Pridgeon photo
Tanja Miller spends some quality time with the new generation of Alpenthal’s Dairy Goats.

By Sarah Pridgeon

A new generation of goats can be found frolicking on the Hewes-Miller ranch at Beaver Creek this spring. What began as a way to provide extra milk when the Miller herd produced a high number of twin calves has become a project close to Tanja Miller’s heart – and one she would dearly like to share with her neighbors in Crook County.

As well as introducing the county’s first goat show this fall, Miller is hoping to promote dairy goats as a 4H project.

“With goats, you really have something for the smaller kids that they can handle. They are sturdy enough that even a smaller kid can handle them and they’re not mean…there’s nothing dangerous about a goat,” Miller says of her hopes for introducing more goat projects to 4H.

“That would be one of my goals, for the kids to know more about them”

Miller would like to see an increase in the education kids are offered on caring for dairy goats. This is rarely included at the moment, she says, because there are so few in the area, but with twice the dairy goats on show at last year’s county fair, she hopes interest is already growing.

“I think this would be a great ag project to get into – you don’t need much room,” she says. “And for the milking part you have to be very responsible, as you have to milk them twice a day. Plus, they’re cuter than a sheep any day, with a lot more personality.”

For the same reason, Miller has assisted in putting together the inaugural Black Hills Dairy Goat Association show at the fairgrounds, scheduled for September 22 and 23. For more information about Miller’s goat projects, call 290-2324, visit alpenthalsdairygoats.com or search “Alpenthal’s Dairy Goats” on Facebook.