- The Washington Times - Monday, January 1, 2007

APPLETON, Wis. (AP) — Adam VanDen Bosch likes dairy farming but not working with cows, so about four years ago he persuaded his father to switch the family dairy farm to one that milks goats.

“Goats have a lot more personality,” said Mr. VanDen Bosch, 23. “They are a lot easier to manage.”

Goats are not exactly butting heads with cows for milk-producing supremacy in the state that bills itself as America’s Dairyland. But more and more goat herds are grazing on a rural landscape that once was almost exclusively reserved for dairy cows.

The state has about 19,500 goats compared with 1.24 million dairy cows, according to the Wisconsin Agricultural Statistics Service, which surveyed the state’s goat dairy industry in September. Still, the survey showed 42 percent of the goat farmers had been milking for less than five years, and 79 percent of them planned to increase the size of their herds during the next five years.

Most of the goat milk produced in Wisconsin eventually becomes cheese, state officials say, and goat cheeses are becoming a growing part of the state’s cheese industry, which is No. 1 in the nation.

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