- Associated Press - Saturday, August 20, 2016

LOGANSPORT, Ind. (AP) - A Logansport goat farmer and her animals are the stars of an upcoming episode of a TV show.

“Coop Dreams,” which airs Friday mornings on Destination America, came out to Twin Willows Farm in Logansport last month to pick up a couple Nigerian dwarf goats and learn about the animals. The host called it a valuable experience on his journey from suburbia to a more sustainable lifestyle - a journey that’s currently being documented in its second TV season.

Erica Hopkins, owner of Twin Willows Farm, recalled receiving an email from the production explaining the premise of the show while seeking her involvement in an upcoming episode.

But Hopkins was filled with questions, she said. She wanted more details about the program, who was in charge and an answer to the most important question of all:

“Who’s going to take care of my babies?” Hopkins said.

That protectiveness drew the show to Twin Willows Farm even more, said Brad Hauter, host of “Coop Dreams.”

“When we called up to ask if there was an interest in helping and participating and being a guide on the goat part of this journey, there was no being enamored with the TV show or no thoughts of anything but, ‘Are the goats going to be taken care of? Is this in the best interest of the goats?’” he said.

Hopkins’ demeanor told him he’d not only be visiting quality goats, but that she’d be an excellent guide as well, Hauter continued.

“I couldn’t have asked for a better entry into this world,” he said.

Hauter, his producer and a camera operator visited the farm in July to shoot the unscripted program, Hopkins said.

“It’s like really reality TV,” she continued. “He takes the bad stuff that happens, the good stuff that happens, the funny stuff that happens.”

Hopkins said she answered Hauter’s questions about housing, feeding, fencing and maintenance as he got to know her goats’ personalities. It was just like a visit from anyone else coming to her farm, she said.

“You really didn’t know the camera was there,” Hopkins said. “It was very natural. That’s the cool thing about being unscripted - you don’t have to go in any direction at all.”

Hauter’s televised journey from suburbia to sustainability began with projects at his rural residence in Marshall, Illinois like wind and solar power, gardening and raising chickens for eggs. He said raising goats for milk and cheese seemed like the next logical step.

Despite his TV-hosting duties, Hauter calls himself an introvert who doesn’t always find it easy meeting new people. That was hardly the case with Hopkins and her family, though.

“I felt at ease immediately because of the quality of the individuals Erica and her family are,” he said.

The two goats he got from Twin Willows Farm have been a positive addition to his new lifestyle.

“They are a riot,” Hauter said. “Something new every day. They’re curious and they are extremely social.”

The synopsis of “Coop Dreams” reads, “Dad’s dream is to try raising backyard chickens, but other family members are not as… enthusiastic.”

Hauter said his wife has been much more receptive of the goats and that the feeling is mutual.

“When I travel and I’m out and she’s caring for them, they cry just as much when she leaves the pasture as when I do,” he said.

Their 17-year-old twin son and daughter are at the age Hauter described as “when everything Dad does is not cool.” When their friends come over, however, he said the first thing they often want to do is see the goats.

The episode of “Coop Dreams” featuring Twin Willows Farm premieres at 8:30 a.m. Friday, Sept. 2 on Destination America.


Source: (Logansport) Pharos-Tribune, https://bit.ly/2aXWiTc


Information from: Pharos-Tribune, https://www.pharostribune.com

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