On this episode of Homesteady, we continue our Homestead Business Side Hustle Series and interview Dan Arms, of the Arms Family Homestead (Find him here and here). Dan’s successful business? Goats. Would you believe that a goat solved the problems of an entire country? Believe it, and learn all about it here.
We meet Dan through the story of the loss of his mom. He cites it as a strong influence in his first career as a state trooper. He was raised by his dad on a homestead with a small cattle herd, hunting, fishing, and spending his days outside. Growing up as a homesteader was a confidence building experience for Dan, and as an adult he took over the family farm after his dad’s passing. After ending his cow raising days due to cost, Dan went back to the land as a hobby gardener.
Unexpectedly, the garden grew into a small homestead business, as Dan’s community started asking him for fresh fruits and vegetables from his garden. However, Dan’s business growth was stymied when his work schedule as a state trooper limited the amount of time he was able to put into his garden. His schedule and logistics made the harvesting and delivery of produce for others unsustainable.
Enter the goats. You know, Aust’s LEAST favorite homestead animal. You know how we feel about goats, at this point, right?
Before you think this is a sudden change of heart, a flip flop, a goat endorsement: heed the following rules:
- Even though the baby goat is cute, DON’T BUY THE GOAT.
- When you ignore us and buy the goat anyway: don’t get more than one.
- When you ignore rules number one AND two: Remember that BABY GOATS GROW UP. Like Gremlins.
We warned you. If you need a really solid reminder, we have some NEW goat shirts in our Homesteady swag store!
The third time trying a side-hustle was the charm: Dan’s money maker on the farm, believe it or not, is GOATS.
Kiko Goats are great goats for homesteaders. Specifically bred by Garrick and Anne Batten for the island country of New Zealand. Aust was able to interview Garrick to discuss the step. by step development of the goat breeding process in New Zealand. Using the theory of population genetics, Gerrick was able to breed the Kiko goat to meet the needs of the farmer in New Zealand.
But back to Dan. Dan is able to breed, raise, and sell Kiko goats on his property. They an excellent match for his lifestyle, his property, and his family. Their grazing patterns also allow Dan to simultaneously feed the goats on his pastures and hay his fields. While not without challenges, Dan is able to make approximately $3000 per year on his side homestead hustle. In addition, he is able to write off farm equipment on his taxes (which gets a check plus from Accountant Mike!).
However; is Dan truly making a profit? You may be (not) surprised to learn that…technically, no, not really. However, the value added to the experiences of Dan and his family in participating and contributing to all his homestead endeavors- goat breeding, chickens, gardening- are worth it to Dan.
Dan isn’t planning on giving up his day job; as he puts it, “This lifestyle is about what makes you happy.”
We have a new partner! Aust is so pleased to partner with Wildcat Outdoor Gear as they premier their collection of tents designed by and for “Outdoorsy Dads.” Watch a great video of Aust, Kendra and the kids enjoying their tent here. Enter coupon code Homesteady at check-out for a discount!
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We have a new addition to the Pioneer Program: A PIONEER ONLY FORUM! Learn from one another and get to talk with Accountant Mike, The Foraging Beard, Dave from Northeast Edible, Alexia The Suburban Escapee. Our podcast guests will also be in the forums!
If you are looking for more information about Kiko goats, we have an extended version of our interview with Garrick available in the Pioneer Library. Not a Pioneer? Join today! Instantly download twenty bonus episodes when you become a Homesteady Pioneer.
The wait will be shorter than ever for the next episode, as Aust is now creating Homesteady Content FULL TIME. What does that mean? A daily YouTube Video and a NEW podcast every two weeks.