Vermont Chevon started in 2004, when Shirley Richardson retired from her school leadership position to pursue raising Spanish meat goats who also produced a high-quality cashmere fiber. In her transition to farming with goats, she further discovered Vermont's thriving dairy goat industry with significant numbers of goats available for meat. Shirley recognized the potential of added value and sustainability for Vermont's dairy goat farms when their surplus goats were utilized for food.
Shirley became a proud goat farmer determined to learn all she could about the goat industry with her focus on maintaining high agricultural standards that raise animals humanely, respect the land, and insures a sustainable source of chevon for chefs, butchers and consumers. The realization that the goat was a terrific food source widely consumed around the world, Shirley had to wonder, “Why isn't everyone eating goat?
Shirley began studying the meat industry, trying to answer this question. During this time, she also learned that dairy farmers producing goat milk had a huge issue: a large number of young male goats without a purpose. Goat dairy farmers breed their goats in order to get milk. Dairy goats often give birth to twins, and while the hope is that the twins will both be female, often one of the twins is a male or buckling. Like many aspects of farming, dairy farming is a huge gamble, and occasionally farmers cannot support these male goats.
While Shirley understood why dairy farmers couldn’t hold on to all the bucklings, she also saw a huge waste in resources. Healthy food was being thrown away! With this information, Shirley Richardson built Vermont Chevon, with the goals of wasting less food and educating others to the health benefits of eating goat, or as we like to call it, Chevon.
Across a vivid green valley, Miles Hooper was also a farmer knee deep in the goat business. Having grown up on a thriving goat dairy, Miles knows goats. He is an expert in the best way to care for his animals. Like many dairy farmers, Miles was frustrated when bucklings were born but was determined not to dispose of them. Miles had always made the best habitat for his herd (believing a happy life creates the best product) and he was determined to create less waste.
Miles Hooper and Shirley Richardson were on the same path and believed that goats were the best resource for milk and meat. It was only a matter of time before the two goat farmers were sharing ideas and creating something that they hoped would change the way people think about goats.
At the end of 2018, Shirley Richardson sold Vermont Chevon to Miles Hooper and with their vast experience and knowledge Vermont Chevon continues to educate chefs and foodies in New England, and throughout the United States. For it is time the US understands what other cultures have been eating for hundreds of years. Goat is delicious, nutritious and sustainable, and Vermont Chevon is here to promote the goat, Chevon!