Over the past few months there has been many Facebook posts and articles about Goat Yoga. Yes, Goat Yoga. Those from Oregon have probably heard of it as it’s a “thing” now here. And those outside Oregon probably already think we’re crazy… and seriously I’m right there with you with some of the things this state comes up with. But then this weekend Goat Yoga is front page on our local Albany Democrat Herald! At first I laughed. Then I started thinking “this is a bit ridiculous.” And THEN someone told me there was over a 1500 person wait list and was charging $30 per class – $50 with wine! So I posted this:
Lots of comments to this post – most people were just laughing along with me. Why are we laughing? Probably the same reason someone doesn’t understand why I don’t go camping during harvest, or why in the world do I have more pairs of cowboy boots than I do heels, or that I learned to drive tractor way before driving a car. In the most simplest explanation – those of us that grew up with or around farm animals, the idea that one would merge animals and yoga is simply funny.
Then my friend and fellow grass seed farmer in the Willamette Valley, Lisa Goracke, calls me and says this and it struck me: “Shelly, I think we are missing the point. We have an urban/rural divide and this is an opportunity for us to showcase what we already know and love. People are willing to pay to experience what we experience every day.”
And she’s totally right.
We have a few incredible programs in Oregon that are trying to bridge that rural/urban gap – all of them our farm is personally involved in:
Oregon Women for Agriculture
Oregon Ag in the Classroom Foundation
Each one of these works hard to educate others about farming and agriculture and how much it means to our state in terms of economic vitality and jobs. We bring middle schoolers, high schoolers, legislators, basically anyone who wants to, out to our farm and show them around. We love it! We literally love being part of educating others about Ag.
Back to Goat Yoga… Here’s the deal, and I missed it at first – I love my goats, my chickens, the bunnies, and our beef steer. Soon joining our funny farm is a dairy heifer and my 14 year old is beyond excited. Why wouldn’t an urbanite, or someone who hasn’t experienced farm life, jump at the chance to hang out with cute goats?
As much as I’d like to jump on this money-making opportunity, I simply don’t have the time. And truly I probably would have a lot of fun with it! You won’t see me offering Goat Yoga classes in our barn, but you WILL see me smile when someone brings up Goat Yoga and quote my yogi friend Melinda: “Hey whatever floats your downward dog.”
Gotta love friends that speak truth.
Try talking me into Goat Yoga in the comments – maybe you will! And don’t think I won’t take up an opportunity for a fundraiser – anything to bridge that urban/rural gap and get more people involved in farming, agriculture and Oregon’s incredible rural community.
Here’s a bunch of goat pictures for your viewing pleasure! And come on out, you can help scoop poop and clean pens, we’ll call it “cardio”. But really, it’s great to see anyone interested in ag, and no one ever said Yoga is bad for you. Win-win. Cheers to that!