Dale and Linda were looking for a retirement venture in 2001 and ended up with a ranch full of animals and a business based on nature. With a house and lots of land, there was plenty of room for goats to roam. “We got them just to clear some brush,” says Dale with a grin. The first four goats, however, were just the beginning.
“It’s like any business. You start with one thing and get that on its feet and start another,” said Dale. As NC Certified Meat Goat Producers, the Kloses had the training and support of many agricultural resources to help them get started. They soon had a successful meat goat business going and began to add new additions to the ranch – both in animals and structures. Between building barns, helping birth baby goats and making the most of the ranch’s natural surroundings, Dale and Linda, who operate the entire farm by themselves, say their marriage of 42 years and counting is based on teamwork. “It’s seven days a week. We joke that we only work in half-days, and half a day is 12 hours,” says Dale. “You learn to rely on each other.”
Now, their 13-acre homestead is a fully-working ranch with goats, sheep, chickens, honey bees, and lots of other four-and two-legged creatures. Dale and Linda are dedicated to breeding and developing animals that are both humanely raised and managed in open pastures as close to their natural state as possible, free of hormones and antibiotics. Their reason for joining AWA was to contribute to the effort and support the AWA standards while providing customers with heart-healthy, local gourmet meats and other ranch products. “It is small scale compared to commercial farms,” said Dale. “We do not intend to expand beyond the boundaries of having full control of our own operation.”