CHELSEA, Iowa — They might not be “true” unicorns, but some of the goats raised by Adam Ledvina could pass for the mythical creatures, with a single horn jutting out of their head.
Ledvina raises Kiko goats, a variety domesticated from feral goats in New Zealand, on the family farm in rural Chelsea.
He shared his nearly six years of experience using goats for brush management, selling breeding stock and for meat, during a Practical Farmers of Iowa field day on Saturday, Sept. 28, 2019.
Dozens of people rode hayracks to view goats grazing on pasture, observe fencing on the farm and learn more about raising goats for ecological restoration. Participants also shared a potluck dinner, which included goat meat.
The 190-acre farm, owned by Ledvina’s grandmother, was previously used primarily for growing row crops. Now, some of the land is enrolled in the Conservation Reserve Program to support wildlife, livestock and conservation.
Goats that are used for ecological restoration can devour invasive plants, such as multiflora rose, garlic mustard and stinging nettles. Ledvina usually likes to travel with 40 of his 150 goats within an hour or so of the farm for the work, done in lieu of manual weeding or chemical herbicides.
Practical Farmers of Iowa, based in Ames, works to equip farmers to build resilient farms and communities.
See more photos from the field day, below: