Small and Alernative Enterprise - Feature Farmer
Bobbie Golden, Golden Acres Ranch
Mr. and Mrs. Fred Golden are the proud owners of Golden Acres Ranch located in Monticello, Florida in Jefferson County 10 miles east of Tallahassee. The couple moved to Monticello from Lakeland, Florida in 2001 with their two dogs and one cat with the intention of retiring. At that time the Golden’s didn’t know anything about farm life, but they started their farm business by purchasing Tennessee Fainting Goats. Their herd consisted of nine does and two breeding bucks. The Golden’s also built their home and barn, they fenced in pastures for their goats and they cleaned out their Mayhaw ponds. Later they added Katahdin sheep and purchased chickens to sell their eggs, they open a pet boarding service on their ranch, they became distributors for Golden Blend Feed and EZ Hutch Shelters and they began harvesting Mayhaw berries from their trees to make jelly to sell to their customers.
In 2008, Mrs. Golden was certified as a Master Goat and Sheep Producer through Florida A&M University’s Cooperative Extension Program and she also earned a goat certification from Langston University (Langston, Oklahoma) after successfully completing the web-based training program for meat goat producers. Later that same year, the couple began selling USDA certified naturally grown lamb and goat meat from their farm and they also distributed their meat products at the local New Leaf Market in Tallahassee, at Johnston's Meat Locker in Monticello, and at the Downtown Marketplace in Tallahassee. Last summer, Mrs. Golden was one of three farmers to receive an “Innovative Farmer of the Year” award during the Small Farm Alternative Enterprise Conference which was sponsored by the University of Florida (UF)/IFAS and Florida A&M University (FAMU), Cooperative Extension Program.
Today, the Golden’s continue to sell goat and sheep products from their ranch or through local markets and they are earning a profit from their small ruminant (i.e., goats and sheep) business enterprise. Mrs. Golden also continues to share with other producers what she has learned through her training classes and her marketing experiences. One of her future goals is to make sure she is able to earn enough income from her farm business to take care of herself and her husband for the rest of their lives. Mrs. Golden would also love to have full-time help with her animals because she is her 70s and wrestling with the animals is getting more difficult each year. However, she definitely feels there is a need for good quality lamb and goat meat in the Tallahassee area and that is why she continues to share her marketing knowledge with other producers.
For more information about Golden Acres Ranch, please contact Mrs. Bobbie Golden at (850) 997-6599 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Her Web site address is http://www.goldenacresranchflorida.com/aboutus.htm
For training opportunities on small ruminants (i.e., National Goat Conference, Master Goat Program), please contact Ms. Joy Dixon at (850) 875-8555 or email@example.com. Visit our Web site at http://www.famu.edu/goats. Information on Langston University’s goat web-based certification program can be found at this link http://www2.luresext.edu/goats/training/qa.htm.