ST. PAUL, Minn. (WCCO) — St. Paul has 37 new employees – and they’re being paid to eat. The workers are goats.
They reported to duty at 2 p.m. Tuesday, greeted by a crowd. The goats will be helping to control weed-like plants growing in Indian Mounds Regional Park.
St. Paul Parks and Recreation decided to hire the three dozen four-legged helpers.
“I’m pretty excited, this is a unique opportunity for us,” says Adam Robbins, the environmental director of St. Paul Parks and Recreation. “We’ve been working for years in Indian Mounds Regional Park on maintaining the natural areas, trying to enhance them back to pre-Civil War settlement vegetation and the goats are gonna help us with that process.”
The city outsourced the new workers from Jake Langselag’s farm in Faribault. The ecologist got the idea after noticing how much yard work his own goats were doing.
“I was just killing myself on the weekends getting all cut out and torn up and bleeding, I saw all the joy they have of going through, eating these plants,” he said.
The goats will be doing just that for the next few months, living in a fenced-in, 6-acre area.
They are picky eaters, in a good way.
“They tend to focus in on those invasive plants, they don’t tend to like a lot of the native species, so we benefit from their preferred palate,” Langselag said.
The goats don’t seem to mind the work.
“I think they have a great quality of life, they get to be with their friends, go in all different kinds of parks all over the state and all they have to do is eat, that’s all they require,” Langselag said.
The goats are actually rented from his company, Goat Dispatch. They try to choose well-behaved goats that don’t jump fences.