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Goats of Glacier offers chance to spend time with the animals

by SUMMER ZALESKY Daily Inter Lake
| June 30, 2024 12:00 AM

Many people find a love for agriculture because it's the family trade, but for Carter Harris, the love was innate.  

Though Carter’s dad Dustin Harris is in real estate, he said “The kid was born with cowboy boots on.” 

But during Carter’s years of working on different farms and ranches, he noticed a lack of agricultural literacy, and in an effort to teach people more about farming, Carter and Dustin combined their passions to open Goats of Glacier.  

The working farm is a hands-on experience for locals and tourists to learn about where food comes from, try out daily chores like milking and brushing the animals, and pet farm animals for potentially the first time. 

“We’ve had people who have never seen a chicken in real life before,” said Dustin. “Our biggest driver is education and helping people understand how a farm works, what sustainable farming is, how to care for animals, and to learn about the circle of life.” 

The farm has goats, mini Highland cows, alpacas, chickens, and a great pyrenes named Sadie. While it's not in bloom yet, Goats of Glacier will also be home to a garden with sunflowers, pumpkins, and other vegetables.  

“I couldn’t be the manager of this alone,” said Dustin. “Carter dove right into learning about goats and read all the books and got all the knowledge. This wouldn't work without somebody that knew what he was doing.” 

Though education is at the forefront of their mission, the Harrises have found ways to sneak in elements of entertainment such as a gift shop, bounce house for kids, and a chance to experience goat yoga. 

“Goats can climb amazing things and they have no fear so they will climb up on people as well. We will use the smaller goats for goat yoga like the Nigerian Dwarfs and Pygmy goats,” said Dustin. “We’re mixing the holistic health side with a fun playful side.” 

Some people who have never tried goat yoga before find that goat yoga is a great foot in the door.  

The farm’s larger goats, some of which are around 300 pounds, can be used as pack animals for longer hiking excursions and the Harrises are currently working to get permits through the National Forest Service to rent their goats out. Dustin said that since goats can carry one-third of their body weight and do not need to be led the way a mule or horse does, many people use goats to explore deeper into the backcountry. 

“We see people using six to 10 goats in the backcountry and they’ll follow you without having to string them up,” Dustin explained. “They’re like golden retrievers. They love being with people. And while a loud noise in a mule camp would send those mules running and you might spend the whole day looking for them, a loud noise in a goat pack camp would send them running straight to you.”

The Harrises have big plans for the space and hope to host events like weddings, reunions, and retreats in the future. To start, a mobile food truck will be on the premises until they can build their own eatery where they envision a farm to table experience.  

“I’m excited to get to work,” said Carter. “Everyone has been really supportive.” 

“We want people to come and have a farm experience, whatever that means to them,” Dustin added. “Whatever your comfort level is, we want you to walk away and say, ‘Wow that was amazing.’” 

Guests can choose from general admission or VIP tickets, both of which include two-day access. With the VIP ticket entry, guests also receive the opportunity to feed the animals, help with farm work as needed and guided entry to get up close with the cows, alpacas, chickens, and larger goats.  

Goats of Glacier is located at 220 Seville Lane in Coram and can be contacted by phone at 406-282-1002. To learn more, visit goatsofglacier.com.  

    A goat at Goats of Glacier in Coram. The spot allows for a hands-on experience with the goats from trying out daily chores to petting the animals. (Courtesy photo)
 
 
    A goat at Goats of Glacier in Coram. The spot allows for a hands-on experience with the goats from trying out daily chores to petting the animals. (Courtesy photo)