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Family ‘milking’ benefits out of local goat operation

Family ‘milking’ benefits out of local goat operation
Family 'milking' benefits out of local goat operation | Family 'milking' benefits out of local goat operation, Brian Weber

The Messenger 06.12.13

Messenger Intern
At 5 on any given morning, Brian Weber of Union City is up early, greeted by the expectant faces of his family’s goats.
Growing up on a dairy farm near Fairview, Weber was experienced at milking Ayrshire cows, so when his wife, Alisha — who is the newly-appointed Reelfoot Lake State Park manager — and their children, Raelynn and Brandon, decided to start supplying their own milk by raising goats, he was more than prepared.
Twice a day every day, the former UT Martin student meets his goats out behind the house, where they wait to be milked and fed in their enclosure. As soon as Weber opens their pen, the goats walk straight into the barn and get in line for their turn. Their daily routine is so well established that the goats not only know when and where their caretaking human needs them to go, they also know how to arrange themselves, once they get there, in the same order to be milked every day.
The family goats provide the household with milk, of course, but they also produce sufficient quantities so that it is possible for Weber to use their milk to make five different types of cheese.
These include plain cheese, pepperjack, Italian basil, mozzarella and a kind that Weber has dubbed “Busy Bee.” It contains dried cherries and honey.
Weber takes these tasty goods, prepared in his own kitchen, to the Obion County Farmer’s Market each week.
Additionally, he makes a seven-gallon delivery of milk to Jackson and takes care of a few local deliveries during that same period.
Selling raw milk directly to customers is illegal, so those involved in the goat milk industry sell shares of the goats rather than their milk. This gives customers as much right to the milk as the original owner of the goats. Customers pay once a month to purchase shares of a goat and receive a weekly supply of milk from that animal.
As his business grows, Weber hopes to get more and more goats. At this point he has 10, and that is eight more than he had two years ago when he started with the animals his children picked out and named Bella and Sweetie Pie.
To find out more about Obion County Farmer’s Market, check the group’s Facebook page or go by the office at 2124 East Church St. in Union City in the Obion County Chamber of Commerce location. To make contact by phone, call 885-0211.
Editor’s note: Hope Montgomery is a sophomore at Hendrix College in Conway, Ark. She is the daughter of Bob and Amy Montgomery of Union City.

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