Goats milk soap helps farm business clean up

Goats provide the key ingredient in one farmer's business success.

When you think of â??Life on the Farmâ?? you may think of cattle and corn, but a Hallsville woman created a thriving business out of a small crop of goats.

Leah Rennick owns the Harmony Hill Goat Farm in north Boone County. She raises Kinder goats which she says are a small but manageable breed.

â??They are very sweet natured,â?? says Rennick. â??They have airplane ears that go out to the side. They are a meaty goats, but also produce enough milk for a family.â??

While Rennick does sell some of her goats for breeding stock and others for meat, she spends most of her efforts milking them. The milk she gathers doesn't go into her cereal, but instead it's the key ingredient in Rennick's homemade soaps and moisturizers.

It's all created in her home kitchen. Rennick carefully measures and mixes, then adds a variety of scents and finally she molds the special bars.

Before perfecting her soap making recipe she tried other ideas, like making fudge and cheese, but those ideas fell short of success.

Now she labels and markets her homemade products, selling them through the farmers' market and local grocery stores.

Leah says the soap helps the goats pay for their keep, and she has advice for anyone thinking of taking on a small herd of goats.

â??Make sure you have a good fence and then make sure you like them because they have a personality where they're going to be inquisitive. They're going to be in your pocket looking for stuff... they'll go investigate,â?? says Rennick.

Like most farmers these days, this is a sideline not Rennick's full time job. But the hours she spends here, and the enjoyment she gets from her goats, is priceless.