How did you become Goat Farmers?
We get this question a lot! And the answer isn’t really an easy one as “Goat Farmers” was never something we intended on being.
If we go waaaaay back... the goat seed was possibly first planted back in the summer of 1995 (ish) when a close family friend of Liz’s had a goat give birth to quadruplets. Sadly, the mom goat didn’t survive the birth and the family had 4 bottle babies to feed several times a day. Liz volunteered to feed the babies each morning that summer and affectionately named them, Jumper, Thumper, Bumper and Squid. It is quite possible Liz’s love for goats began in that small barn that summer.
Fast forward to 2009, Liz and Aaron were parents of 2 young children, Jacob and Tyler; and Liz’s desire of providing a source of fresh eggs for the growing family. Now, this was during a time where raising chickens in the backyard wasn’t trendy yet and Aaron literally thought Liz had officially lost her mind. Sure enough, by the time Tyler was 9 months old, the family was the proud owners of 26 baby chicks. By that summer, the family was getting their very first eggs and they were hooked!
Now, it’s highly known among farmers that chickens are the gateway livestock animal and only lead to bigger livestock animals. Liz knew goats were next on her wish list as they produce the most delicious and nutritious milk. Now, full disclosure... Jacob was around 3 or 4 years old when we realized he was a HUGE milk lover. Liz and Aaron always jokingly said he needed his own personal cow to keep up with his milk consumption. And, to this day, this rings true! Since Liz couldn’t see herself milking a cow every day, the idea of having a few family goats became very appealing. The only problem... The property they were living on at the time, wasn’t zoned for livestock of any kind. Having illegal chickens was one thing. But hiding illegal goats wasn’t going to work out so well. And if the town ever found out and demanded the family get rid of their goats, Liz was 100% sure she wouldn’t survive that.
So, the family looked for a bigger house for their growing family with more land to support their want for goats. In July 2012, the dream came to reality and Syman Says Farms went legal! The chickens were packed up in a cardboard box and driven the 6 miles to the new property where they spent the night living in a tent in the garage before the coop was relocated the next morning.
That Fall, Liz attended a Goat Husbandry class at the local Goat Farm while modifications were made to the land to prepare it for goats the following year. The following years were spent clearing land, having 2 more human children, building paddock fences, chicken coops and goat barns and starting our little herd with 4 dairy goat kids. This dream of wanting a few goats for the family’s milk consumption has turned into a deep passion for raising the happiest goats who exemplify the high breed standards set by the American Dairy Goat Association. The human kids got into learning and showing their goats through their local 4H group and spent their summers showing at various agriculture fairs throughout Connecticut.
In January 2017, Liz decided her New Year’s Resolution would be to start a YouTube channel to help educate new and/or aspiring goat owners. The idea was to make a bunch of “how-we-do” videos to share what Liz has learned over the years of owning her own goats. The channel morphed into a family vlog about living and raising kids on the farm and by February 2019, Aaron suggested setting up a live stream in the Goat barn during Kidding Season with the idea of giving a whole new perspective to the YouTube education. The family now live streams their goat barns 24.7.365. From breeding, to birthing, to milking. This gives SSF customers a unique view point to how the family's goats are raised; the love and care and time each girl gets and how their milk ends up in each product we produce.
The farm has grown bigger than just providing fresh eggs and milk for the family of 6. They now make several all-natural Goat Milk Skin & Body products as well as their award-winning Swanky Sauce. Liz and Aaron have been live streaming 24.7.365 since that infamous day back in Feb 2019 and the YouTube channel has grown to something they could have never expected. Affectionately called “The Villagers”, this community of amazing people have loyally watched from all over the world and fallen in love with the goats and the family. But they’ve also grown to support one another in a way that has been quite inspirational. Through all of our highs and lows, we now do everything together as it happens on the farm. As one of the Villagers said so perfectly...
“Come for the Goats, Stay for the Family!”
As we entered into the world of Covid-19, the farm became an even more significant part of our lives. It became our place of refuge and only source of income as Aaron got laid off by his technology employer. We buckled down and focused on what really matters. Health, safety and family... and we are committed now, more than ever, to continue providing education, entertainment and quality products to you and yours.