Some people pay good money for a chance to feed goats, pet goats or even do goat yoga.
At this Abbotsford farm you can do it for free. In fact, they’ll provide you with authentic farm accommodation, family meals and farm education —all while letting you play with goats!
“I can’t imagine being stuck in a small apartment in the city with nothing to do and nowhere to go. It’s so beautiful out here in the country and there’s plenty to do, no matter what you’re interested in,” says Jo-Ann Dykstra at Goat’s Pride Dairy.
If you want to milk goats, you can learn at Goat’s Pride Dairy. If you’re curious about making cheese or yogurt, Jo-Ann’s son Jason has his own cheese company, Mt. Lehman Cheese Company. No matter your interest you’re likely to have to clean a few pens, but there’s lots to learn along the way.
“In other years we’ve welcomed a lot of volunteers from France, because their agriculture program requires weeks of hands-on learning on a working farm. We’ve had local veterinary students as well,” Dykstra says. “They learn so much! It’s second-nature to us, but all new to them. You get to understand it all from a farmer’s point of view.”
Looking for a break from your regular routine? The farm is a great place to visit for an afternoon, or stay to learn for two weeks or more.
“It’s hard work, but a great environment and a great experience.”
Self-guided farm tours
Goat’s Pride Dairy normally hosts an open house every summer with goat buggy tours, face painting and farm tours, but this year they’re setting up a self-guided tour.
“You can see the goats and their antics from your car when you visit the market store, and we also have a loop you can drive to see more of the farm,” Dykstra says, but the farm has plans to install information signs with QR codes linking to videos. “I always tell people don’t just rush in here to pick up cheese, yogurt or milk. Take your time, see if you can find some fairy houses hidden here and there, enjoy the goats and the scenery.”
BC Fisheries has already visited to film their video about the farm’s salmon-bearing creek and Dykstra also has great footage of a young goat being born, with more information to come.
Find Goat’s Pride Dairy cheese, yogurt, water buffalo milk from Tesfa Farms and other fun goodies at the Abbotsford Farm and Country Market and the Mission City Farmer’s Market, at many local grocery stores, and at the farm store at 30854 Olund Rd.
“Just honk and I’ll come out and serve you!” Dykstra says.
This project is supported by the BC Government’s Buy BC Partnership Program; delivered by the Investment Agriculture Foundation of BC with funding from the Government of British Colombia.