by Lisa Britton

UNION — Katherine Gentry had her eye on the black baby goat, and after 10 minutes of cuddling the kid in her arms she settled on a name.

“I’ll call him Richard,” she said.

Unfortunately, Gentry had to release the baby back into the pen, as did her fellow sixth-grade classmates who seemed quite smitten with the babies.

(Teacher Annetta Evans joked about checking backpacks on the bus to ensure no baby goats were smuggled home.)

On March 20, the sixth-grade class from Haines Elementary School visited Grande Ronde Goat Dairy in Union.

The business is run by Stephanie Rovey, who grew up in Illinois.

As she looks across her herd of 800 goats, she smiles at how it all began.

“This was a 4-H project,” she said.

Rovey, 40, got her first dairy goat at age 12.

“My dad thought it would last two or three years. He was wrong.”

She earned a degree in animal science at the University of Illinois, then took her goats south when she entered a master’s program at the University of Arizona.

“Everywhere I’ve moved, I brought my goats with me,” she said.

Her herd was smaller then, about 10 or 12.

She and her husband, Byron, moved to Union in 2005. In addition to the goats, they plant 2,800 acres in row crops (sunflowers, triticale, alfalfa, sugar beets, and potatoes

See more in the March 25, 2019, issues of the Baker City Herald