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Financial costs of ‘Goats versus Kudzu’ Tryon project

Goats are currently working to eradicate kudzu near IGA. (photo submitted)

Goats are currently working to eradicate kudzu near IGA. (photo submitted)

As was published by the Tryon Daily Bulletin on June 13, in the article, “Goats versus Kudzu,” the goats have returned to the 2-acre lot in Tryon, near IGA, to help eradicate kudzu (and other non-native and invasive species) from the site.

The 25 Kiko goats have been joined by Reba, an Anatolian Shepherd, who is at the site to protect the goats. The animals will be at the site for about a month and will return for about a week in the fall to eat any new growth.

Through a grant awarded to the Pacolet Area Conservancy (PAC) from the Polk County Community Foundation’s Kudzu Eradication Initiative, the project will continue this pattern; the goats will spend a month at the site at the beginning of summer and a week in the fall, for a total of three years.

This project has received a lot of press. Not only did the Tryon Daily Bulletin cover the story, but Channel 7 news did a short piece on the project in their evening broadcast on June 12, and WLOS did a story on June 18.

Unfortunately, there was an error in the WLOS story. They reported that the cost of the project was $12,000 a month; that is inaccurate. The project will cost approximately $3,000 per year; $9,000 for three years. This includes the transport of the goats, to and from the site, twice a year, “goat rental,” erection and removal of the fence. Wells Farm cares for the animals (including vetting) and assumes responsibility if anything unforeseen should happen to the animals.