Oregon goat farmer Carine Goldin went above and beyond to keep her herd safe when the encroaching Riverside Fire threatened to burn her dairy farm to the ground.
Goldin, who owns and runs Goldin Artisan Goat Cheese farm in Molalla, Oregon, initially left her home on Sept. 8 during a Level 3 evacuation order, leaving her 85 goats behind. However, compelled to spare her herd from a terrifying fate, Goldin devised an evacuation plan using her SUV and a trailer.
“We put all the little ones, and there were seven, in the Subaru,” she explained to KPTV. “They actually lined up nicely on one end.”
In 12 years of running the farm, Goldin admitted never witnessing wildfires like these before. Retaining a sense of humor about the mass evacuation, Goldin took to Facebook on Sept. 11 with a snapshot of her Subaru, loaded with baby goats.
“Evacuation in style! Can’t beat the multipurpose Suburu,” she captioned.
After driving the first carload to nearby Canby, Goldin returned with her trailer several times to transport the adult goats. However, after brief respite, Canby was also put under evacuation orders.
Goldin’s evacuation effort garnered support from locals, and Clackamas County volunteers stepped up to offer additional trailers to lend a hand in ferrying the whole herd to a new location. Goldin and the herd were offered shelter by Fraga Farmstead Creamery in Forest Grove.
On Sept. 13, the goat farmer shared an update on the herd’s well-being on Facebook. “Our wonderful dairy goats are disoriented and stressed,” she wrote, “but I am hopeful they will pull through with a lot of TLC. The cheeses are in the aging room safe and sealed (no power outage).”
Goldin added she was “optimistic” that the dairy farm and creamery would both survive the disruption. “The mop-up will be a big task, but doable,” she admitted.
Goldin’s 85 goats remained safe in their lodgings at Forest Grove by mid-September, where they continued to receive TLC after the ordeal.
The farmer and cheesemaker pledged to return to her home when she can rest assured that her goats will be safe.
“It’s all very scary and the goats are under tremendous stress right now,” Goldin told KPTV. “[W]e just kind of want to give them rest before we move them back.”
In a later update on Sept. 23, Goldin took to Facebook to share: “The cheeses are safe in a sealed aging room. We will be at the market on SATURDAY!”
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