By Kirsten Mitchell

SPRING VALLEY, Wis. (WCCO) — Christmas may be three weeks behind us, but a holiday feast is just getting underway at a farm in western Wisconsin.

Goats are helping recycle hundreds of discarded Christmas trees from all over Minnesota and Wisconsin as a way to help the environment, and the goats.

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About five years ago, Dana Myers’ property in Somerset was invaded by Buckthorn plants, so he bought a few goats to munch it away and keep the problem at bay.

“I had no intentions of ever having a farm or doing any kind of ranching activities, so, just happened, you know,” Myers said. “The neighbors, they all wanted them, and next thing you know we had 30 goats.”

His project turned into a word-of-mouth buckthorn mitigation company, which he now calls Scapegoats. They now have about 150 goats grazing during the summer, and about 50 cashmere goats. The goats range in age and have their own unique personalities and names. In the winter, the goats take on a second job. Our tinsel-free trash is their tasty treasure.

(credit: CBS)

“The trees offer antioxidants and trace minerals, a lot of vitamin A and C,” Myers said. “And they also have de-worming, anti-parasitical properties.”

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Word of his Christmas tree recycling spread like wildfire this year after he posted an advertisement on the Nextdoor app asking for tree donations.

“Going into the landfill doesn’t really do any good. There’s already enough stuff in the landfill as is,” Myers said.

Hundreds of trees were donated from across Minnesota and Wisconsin. Some families even visit the farm to see the goats themselves.

“Seeing the joy it brings to people, it’s just so cool,” Myers said. “Everyone just loves them. It’s a really positive experience.”

He says the city of Menomonie has expressed interest in partnering with him for tree recycling. If you missed your chance to donate, there’s always next year.

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For more information on Scapegoats, email Dana Myers at dana@scapegoats.biz.

Kirsten Mitchell