Modern Farmer Has Got Your Goat Cover Story

A slice of Vermont heaven

It’s the name of a 1965 song by The Who and the title of a 2010 film starring Annette Bening. In the Summer Issue of Modern Farmer, “The Kids Are Alright” is also the headline for a cover story about a couple of artists who have carved out a wonderful existence.

Lucas Farrell and Louisa Conrad have found life-work balance at Big Picture Farm in Townshend, Vt. That’s right, the location of this slice of Bernie Sanders country paradise is a perfect overlap with The Who lead singer’s last name.

Here is the wonderful article lede concocted by Miranda Crowell:

What’s a girl to do with an advanced degree in fine art amidst a major recession? If you’re Louisa Conrad, circa 2008, you sign up for an apprenticeship at a Vermont goat farm and marry a poet. All of which might lead your father to question your financial prospects—quite publicly—in his wedding toast. As Conrad’s husband, Lucas Farrell, recalls: “Louisa’s dad joked that, as artists, we wouldn’t make much money, but as farmers, we’d probably lose a lot more of it.”

As Crowell’s piece, with extensive photos by Alissa Hessler, documents, the couple is now laughing all the way to the Whole Foods-Amazon bank. With help from Dumbo, Nubian and the rest of their 40-strong goat clan, the couple’s brands of cheese, caramel and chocolate can be found there.

There’s also a sidebar, “Goat Husbandry 101,” which explains how the couple uses portable solar fencing to allow the herd to roam during the spring, summer and fall months. Farrell and Conrad have a newborn daughter and recently added pigs and chickens to the Big Picture Farm menagerie.

For the great majority of readers who will want to summer-read more about the herd, we suggest the “Goats” section of the Big Picture Farm website. Click on any stenciled portrait, and voiaaaaaaaa-la, mini-bios emerge like this one for Solaris:

Solaris arrived on the farm with Meridien in the late spring of 2011. She is a tough goat and has recently taken over as Head.Of.Herd. A trusty and powerful milker, she has never been a troublemaker either.

Meanwhile, if we had to pick just one item to purchase at the Big Picture Farm online store, it would be the Manhattan. This handsome goat pillow can be yours for $65.

Editor’s Note:
The original version of this item referenced an incorrect spelling of Pete Townshend’s last name (Townsend). Fishbowl apologizes for the error.