1. Our neighbors in Saint Paul and other big cities like San Diego, Denver and Portland all allow goats in the city limits. Do you support legalizing goats in the city of Minneapolis? For what purposes and why?
Yes, I am a long-time supporter of goats in the city. I’d like to see us legalize small goats for back yard husbandry and hire herders of larger herds of full size goats for invasive species removal. Right now we allow for small herds to be utilized for invasive species removal in parks and I’d like to see that expanded to allow for large herds (500-2000) to do massive invasive species removal and replanting / habitat restoration of native species.
2. What do you see as the main barriers to small scale goat husbandry and use of goats to fight invasive species like buckthorn, and what specifically will you do to influence their current prohibited status?
The main barriers to small scale goat husbandry for residents in the city seem to be: education for residents and policy makers, lack of stores that support goat owners with feed and supplies, and policies that prohibit goat ownership in the city. I’ve been working to educate myself and voters on the use of goats as a tool for fighting invasive species. I will work with the Homegrown Minneapolis Food Council, as well as park planners and goat advocates to design policies that will allow goats to be kept in the city.
3. What rules and regulations do you support for the safe keeping of goats in the city? What requirements do you feel should be met by owners or managers of goat herds?
Goats are a herding animal so I believe they need to be kept in at least groups of 2-3. Small sized goats may be appropriate for many back yards, but large goats generally can out-eat a backyard garden or landscape very quickly. I’d like to make sure that we have appropriately sized goats allowed for variously sized landscapes. I’d like to work with goat advocates to design a set of regulations that will make sure goats are allowed and properly cared for in the city. I’d also like us to work with local entrepreneurs to design regulations for slaughter which may include a moble slaughtering facility.
4. What stakeholders do you think are important to include at the table when developing policies as it relates to goats in the city limits?
Many stakeholders have a role to play in legalizing goats in the city. Residents, neighborhood groups, goat advocates, Dept of Ag, city planners, MPRB planners, animal rights advocates, long-term goat herders, ecosystem experts, soil health experts, water stewards, foresters, and St. Paul residents who keep goats should all be invited to the table when considering new policies related to goats.
5. Is there anything else you’d like to add? Optional fun: include a link to your favorite goat-related video on Youtube.
As a cochair of the Homegrown Food Council I worked hard to engage community members in order to update and improve the language in our city chicken policies. I’m ready to do the same to legalize goats!
Goats controling invasive species: