Simply Dutch Farm: From combat engineer to dairy goat farmer
By Lindsay Marchello, Bayonet & Saber /
Every day, Daniel House wakes up at 5:30 a.m. to check on his Alpine goats, rabbits, chickens and honey bees before heading off to work at Fort Benning as a tank simulation instructor.
After a day of teaching, House returns home to feed his animals and milk his goats. Together with his wife, Martha, he prepares some of the milk to be turned into cheese, yogurt or cheesecake. The remaining milk is stored in a freezer for future use.
House does this everyday until Saturday, when he and his wife go to Midland Farmer’s Market to sell their goods for their business, Simply Dutch Farm.
“Monday through Thursday we make cheese. Fridays we make bread, and then Saturdays we sell at market. Sundays we rest,” said House.
House started this weekly routine when he and his wife acquired the land in Waverly Hall in 2012.
“I spent 25 years in the military,” said House, a retired Sgt. 1st Class combat engineer. “When I retired, we wanted to start our own farm.”
House explained that both he and his wife came from dairy farming backgrounds. When they purchased the property, it was all grass.
“I built the barn and the milking stands,” said House. “We are still building more.”
House pointed out that Simply Dutch Farm wasn’t originally meant to be a goat dairy farm.
“We were going to go with dairy cows, but one day a guy called us up and he was heartbroken. He owned two goats, but one of them had died and he wanted us to take the other goat for him,” said House. “We got that goat and realized that goats are great. They are a lot friendlier and cuter than cows.”
There are 16 purebred Alpine goats at Simply Dutch Farm.
“These are champion milking goats,” said House. “The average goat produces half a gallon a day, maybe a little more. Every one of our goats does over a gallon a day.”
House explained that three of the goats have been awarded for their superior genetics.
“Once a year we have a professional come out and he’ll appraise all the goats,” said House. “One of our goats, Shamrock, she scored in the top 15 percent of all the goats in the U.S.”
House emphasized that caring for his animals is his top priority.
For more information on Simply Dutch Farm or to purchase some of their wares, check out their website at http://www.simplydutchalpines.com/.