Secluded in a peaceful valley in Central Pennsylvania is a farm that is fostering and growing an idea and industry whose time has come …
Our Animals and their Home
The 190 acres of rolling hills and idyllic dells of The Glen Cauffman Farm are home to over 100 beautiful, healthy Angora goats. These happy animals are busily producing top quality, luxurious fiber for the high fashion fabric and clothing market from nothing more than air, water, sunshine, the natural native forage of their pasture and the feed crops carefully grown for them. The animals themselves provide the sustainable upkeep of their pastures with little maintenance or waste of forage. The herd is kept on ten fenced acres of the farm, with no crowding of animal groups or grass cover loss. They enjoy free access to fresh spring water, shaded glens and clean “goat houses” for inclement weather.
Pastures, Planning and Care
No chemical weed control is used on the goat pastures, and mowing at optimal height for plant growth efficiency is needed only two to three times per year. Pastures are maintained with diverse plant species and rotationally grazed to ensure the sustained production of quality animal forage and minimal parasite infestation. The tractors run on B20 biodiesel contributing to less dependence on foreign petroleum, local energy from agriculture and cleaner exhaust emissions.
The goats range compatibly with Integrated Pest Management birds-guinea hens, peacocks, and chickens- for which the guardian dogs for the herds or flocks also provide protection, while the birds provide the goats and the dogs with protection from ticks and fleas. Goats offer effective Integrated Pest Management control of invasive plants in their pasture. Angora goats’ favorite foods are the noxious multiflora rose and Canada thistle. Well-managed sheep and goats readily graze weeds, minimizing the spread of weed seeds. This symbiosis provides a safe, comfortable, and low stress natural environment for all the animals on the farm.
Twenty acres of highly erodible land are enrolled in the Conservation Reserve Enhancement Program, maintaining native prairie grass for wildlife habitat.
Recently, the farm was recognized for its high standard of conservation by the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service by its acceptance into the National Conservation Stewardship Program. The goats are an important factor in this, as their habit causes little impact to their water accesses and to fragile terrain and drainage areas. They also are a key element in the nonchemical control of invasive plant species such as multiflora rose and Canada thistle.
The Glen Cauffman Farm has been continuous no-till since 1984, protecting soil from erosion and enhancing water infiltration. Thousands of feet of sod waterways have been installed over the past three decades. A created wetland for storm water detention captures runoff from the neighbor farm.
All cropland is maintained in contour strips of alternating crops in rotation. Cover crops and crop residue management provide soil armor, protecting the soil in the winter months. Integrated Pest Management minimizes the use of pesticides by weekly crop scouting and subscribing to pest modeling services that predict when pests and diseases will be prevalent, allowing targeted, ecological intervention.
Wildlife thrives on The Glen Cauffman Farm. Deer, raccoons, rabbits, squirrels, wild turkeys, grouse, pheasants, opossums, mink, woodchucks, porcupines, foxes, coyotes, skunks, raptors, song birds and an occasional black bear regularly share the ecosystem.