FROM BOARDROOM TO BARNYARD
After 20 years of corporate ‘success’, I found myself hurrying from one airplane to the next, eating the unidentifiable soggy option that was wilting under a heat lamp in some airport business lounge. I had always been an ambitious leader that thrived on goal achievement and it’s associated rewards. Corporate targets had become less and less inspiring and I found myself dreading the endless meetings, committees and strategy sessions. This corporate success and its associated lifestyle had started to affect my health and happiness. It was time to take control of my destiny and find a new healthier way to live. I needed to reassess and find a solution that would allow me to achieve and ensure rewards that fed my soul and those around me. With my eager and supportive husband, it was time to Turn the Page on a new chapter in our lives. We landed in central Maine with a dream of starting up a small goat dairy and artisanal cheese empire (ok maybe empire is an exaggeration).
“I needed to reassess and find a solution that would allow me to achieve and ensure rewards that fed my soul and those around me. With my eager and supportive husband, it was time to Turn the Page on a new chapter in our lives.”
“HAVE YOU EVER EVEN MILKED A GOAT?”
A few years prior to making the leap we were sampling single malt scotches at a hotel bar while on vacation. Right in the middle of my waxing poetic about my outrageous dream of owning a goat farm, My husband in his annoyingly logical way asked: “Have you ever even milked a goat?” I did have to admit that no, I don’t think I had actually ever been in proximity of a real goat. Even I could see this presented a bit of a gap in my path of making this dream a reality. I immediately started to search for goat milking tours (yes, it is a thing). We were headed to Ireland in the morning where surely I could find a goat to milk somewhere in the country before the end of this vacation. Did I mention that I am often driven to the point of excluding all practicality? Before the last dram of scotch was warming my belly I had booked us on a goat walking tour of the Barren National Park in two days time.
“…WELL NO I DON’T THINK I HAVE ACTUALLY BEEN IN PROXIMITY OF A REAL GOAT”
Our visit to a small Irish homestead run by a father and daughter exceeded our expectations. They had a plot of land, herd of goats and associated artisan cheese business. Their self-sufficiency around food supply was inspiring to everyone on the tour. It goes without saying that when the group was asked who wanted to milk a goat I was the first in line and it only took a few tries for me to successfully get milk into the pail. I gave my husband ‘ the look’ he is so familiar with when I achieve a goal “Done! – I have checked that box, now let’s go buy a goat farm. ” We then spent the remainder of our vacation dreaming of starting our own goat dairy and creating a vision for how we could make this dream our reality.
It was not easy to give up my corporate job and the trappings that come with a successful career, title, and associated paycheck. It was the perfect opportunity to test my theory. Trust your dream, take action and the universe will align to support you. Things progressed quickly and unexpectedly and we found ourselves putting an offer on a farm in central Maine site unseen.
As soon as our feet hit the ground we built a chicken tractor and ordered day old meat chicks and layers. We had two pigs in the forest clearing land and making bacon. Next came bees and honey which were a gift from a neighboring farmer. And by the end of the summer, I had 7 rare Guernsey dairy goats in the barn. Cheeses, soaps, and fudge were now being produced on our own land from our own animals. The reality of our first year of this new chapter of our lives has exceeded all expectations.