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Hometown Farmer: Van Wyk Dairy Acres

HTF - Van Wyk Dairy Acres

Some animals have a lot of personality, like the dairy goat!

Rod Van Wyk has worked with those ornery animals, which is why we're heading to his farm this week in "Proud to be a Hometown Farmer."

"If you stand still, like now and kind of ignore her, then she's up wanting to rub on you," said Van Wyk.

The personality is something you have to deal with constantly, because the goats can be ornery, too.

Rod says his goats really like to unplug a certain outdoor power cord.

"Every day the weather's nice they have to unplug it all over again," said Van Wyk.

His family started with two goats in 1975.

"Everything is descended from those two originals," said Van Wyk.

At one time Rod milked more than one hundred of the animals at his farm in north central Iowa, supplying milk for a dairy.

Three out of his four children ended up in Sioux County, though, so he moved to Siouxland four years ago.

He only has a couple dozen goats now.

After years of working with them, and showing them for more than 40 years at the Iowa State Fair, he's says they're a great animal to raise.

"They're easy to handle, they make an excellent 4-H project for kids because they're easy to handle," said Van Wyk. "Probably a little bit less expensive to get into."

But even though he's downsizing, he says there's a real need for dairy goat herds in the U.S.

"Over 50% of the goat cheese eaten in this country is imported, because there isn't enough produced domestically," said Van Wyk.

If you think of a farmer that might be great on "Proud to be a Hometown Farmer," please email Jake at:

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