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Amazing graze: Veteran’s goats feast on Belmont’s growing problem



BELMONT, N.C. (QUEEN CITY NEWS) — A herd of goats is hungry to do work that’s long overdue in Belmont. The City of Belmont hired Army veteran Jacob Porter to deploy critters to feast on 30 acres of overgrown brush and kudzu near Wilkinson Blvd. and Abbey Creek. 

“They eat 22 hours a day, about ten percent of their body weight,” says Jacob Porter, owner of Green Goat Land Management. 

Their ferocious appetite might make them the “Greatest of All Time” for such an assignment. No time for chewing the fat as they wolf down about four acres every 15 days.

“I want them to graze it to the point that they damage the plant and graze it down until it’s eradicated,” Porter said.

“This is where they’ve been,” he said, pointing to an area the critters cleared. “It looks like a nuclear bomb went off.”

“Knowing that the goats could provide a sustainable alternative for cleaning up all this overgrowth… it’s been really great to see them in action,” said Senior Planner Tiffany Faro. 

Porter knows each goat by name.

“Hansel, Oreo, Black Magic,” he said, naming off a few. 

Porter served the Army for 20 years. When he made the transition to civilian life, he realized he was on to a sensible solution for many property owners. So, he started his own business with the slogan “Get Ur Goat On.”

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“Goats don’t charge me labor; they work for food. So, it’s inexpensive as far as machines and equipment,” said Porter.

They don’t need a lunch break, because their work IS their lunch break.

“They’re doing a great job, and they’re able to keep working while the staff is working in the office,” Faro says.

When we first arrived at the site, Porter drew his gauntlet of goats close with a bowl full of feed and a call that instantly commanded their attention.

“Nah nah!” he yelled repeatedly, as the lively livestock rushed towards him. 

“When I do that, and they get here, and they get either grain or treats… I mean they get it. Kind of like your paycheck, when you open it, you’re like ‘Nah nah!’” he explained. 

The City of Belmont urges the public not to stop their cars or park on the side of the street to watch them for safety reasons. Also, be advised that the goats are also working behind an electric fence.

The goats could continue in Belmont until November. So, it’s likely to be months before the city says, “nah nah, nah nah… goodbye.” Something like that.

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