Ohio Village Uses Goat to Mow Riverbank

CLERMONT COUNTY, Ohio (WKRC/Rich Jaffe) -- You may soon be seeing signs all over the tri-state for an eco-friendly, four-footed mowing business that's expanding.

"Zeke's Goats" is a company started by a New Richmond High School student. The riverbank in New Richmond is sort of the Village's front door. The river is what this town is all about. But during the summer, the greenery grows up and it's tough and expensive to keep the area mowed.

But not anymore. Now it's not getting mowed, it's getting munched! Zeke's goats are in action. This one-man, seven-goat entrepreneurial enterprise is single-handedly (or perhaps four-footedly) responsible for maintaining the front door to this old river town.

Five days a week, this goat-mowing crew masticates its way along the riverbank one section at a time, doing what much more expensive guys with weed wackers could barely get to twice. New Richmond Mayor Ramona Carr told Local 12 News the goats are a lot cheaper than the guys.

Carr said, "It's vital to keep it cleared off because the river is where people come set, they enjoy the boats, they enjoy fishing and we normally only clean it off twice a year. Once before the Fourth of July and once before River Days."

Zeke's goats will eat just about anything with the exception of grass and a big weed called hog weed. So that means they have a whole bunch of lunch possibilities down on the riverbank. Village creative genius Ray Perszyk came up with the initial idea.

He explained, "You can't really mow this because it's got rocks to reinforce the bank. Keep it from eroding I guess, and you start reading things about O'Hare airport using goats to clean out areas they can't get at, Atlanta airport, big places like that. They even have herders out in California on the freeways I guess."

A junior at New Richmond High School, Zeke Kahn heard about the business opportunity and put together a limited liability goat company.

He said, "I brought them home. I've never really had goats before, I had five strings of electric fence, thought that would keep them in, wasn't really worried about it. Spent the rest of that afternoon chasing seven goats because I didn't have the right fence. A definite learning process because they like to get out."

While New Richmond is usually known as the home of Jacob the Peacock, the new goat-mowing business is growing by leaps and bounds and could soon put the village on the map for a whole herd of new reasons. Zeke tells Jaffe he already has four additional jobs for his goats. In fact, the business is going so well that this Saturday he's taking delivery of 10 more of the four-footed mowers.

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