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Mitzi and goat
Mitzie Rival of Jackson County with a three-week-old Red Boer goat kid named Red Bud. Photograph by Michael Keller.



Tending the Herd in Jackson County

Mitzie Rival and her Goats

By Carolyn Harmon

Photographs by Michael Keller


Down to the edge of the world, where winding roads disappear into cavernous cliffs and shady Jackson County hillsides, at the bottom of Fisher’s Ridge, near Kenna, lives Mitzie Rival — and her goats.

Mitzie raises a whole herd, but some of them are missing. They went wandering along the ridge earlier, led by their fearless leader, Ollie, a 150-pound Great Pyrenees livestock guardian dog. This, I learn, is a daily occurrence. But as the evening progresses, worry sets in.

“Right now I’ve been selling them because I can’t keep up with them,” Mitzie says. “Currently I have six that are barely one month, 10 babes that were born in January, and 12 adults counting the yearlings — I still have too many.

“I have one buck, a Boer, which is a meat goat that turned one in March. I use him for my Nubians, which are floppy long eared milk goats. I borrowed him from a neighbor.”

Mitzie started crossing the Nubians with the Boers to sell to make money for hay.


You can read the rest of this article in this issue of Goldenseal, available in bookstores, libraries or direct from Goldenseal.