Animal Science class gets hands-on experience with goats

By Vanessa Hernandez

On Dec. 1, students taking Mark Rickabaugh’s animal science classes got the chance to meet LaMancha goats. These goats belong to Angela Rothweiler, a local farm owner who runs a dairy business from her goat’s milk.

Animal Science teacher Mark Rickabaugh milks a goat on Dec. 1.
Ian Jones
Animal Science teacher Mark Rickabaugh milks a goat on Dec. 1.

“Angela Rothweiler came to Lawrence High, we went out and picked up 4 of her LaMancha dairy goats and we had them in the greenhouse for two different hours,” Rickabaugh said, who had met Angela Rothweiler at a agriculture convention. “We milked them and she told us about goat care, their diet and the whole nine yards.”

LaMancha goats are a type of American goat that produce milk. Their most notable characteristic are their short ears, or “elf” ears. Their name comes from their homeland, La Mancha, Spain. “La Mancha” is Spanish for “the mark or the spot,” but these goats are a variety of colors and have no characteristic markings.

Students were very excited to have the chance to interact with these goats. The Animal Science classes were going through their Goat Unit, so it was useful for them to see in real life what they were studying.

“She [Rothweiler] talked about PETA and the goats and how she doesn’t pasteurize the goat milk because it is unhealthy,” junior Louisa Delnevo said.

Students got to milk goats from Angela Rothweiler on Dec. 1.
Ian Jones
Students gained experience milking goats on Dec. 1.

Not everyone was willing to milk the goats, but they were able to do other activities with the goats.

“I didn’t milk the goats, I just brushed them down a bit and it was pretty fun,” sophomore Emily Haynes said.

Delnevo said they also got to walk the goats around the track after milking them.

This live experience was a new, different way of teaching the goat unit than in past years.

“In the past, we had worked with goat meat, which is probably one of the rapidest growing businesses in agriculture, so I thought it would be neat to switch it up so i decided we would go with goat milk,” Rickabaugh said.

Rothweiler’s products are available to anyone who would like to enjoy goat dairy products. Her website page on Local Harvest says that her goats are “hand-milked twice daily, no hormones, chemical wormers, no antibiotics, no pesticides, no corn, no wheat [and] no soy.”

Not only does she cater goat’s milk, but yogurt and ice cream made from their milk are popular items. She sells online by her website or through Facebook on her Simple Food account where she can be contacted.