“We reimagined everything”: Pandemic forces local farm to switch from hogs to goats...with a twist

SANFORD, Fla. — A Seminole County family was able to find a unique and rather adorable way to keep their farm running after the pandemic forced restaurants to close.

Rhonda Myers and her family live in Sanford on what they’ve dubbed Myersville Farms.

READ: Facebook post spawns massive effort to help young adults in Central Florida aged out of foster care

“Before the pandemic happened, we were actually mostly raising hogs and selling them to local restaurants. We were the farm to table people,” Myers says.

When restaurants closed due to the coronavirus pandemic, the Myers had to sell off their hogs and pivoted primarily to goats.

“We have just kind of reimagined everything,” Myers says. “So we do the goat yoga, and then we also use everything goat’s milk, which is cheese and yogurt and ice cream.”

Myers says they even make soap and caramels, “...everything goat milk you can possibly imagine.”

READ: Central Florida child welfare service getting by with donations after main fundraiser canceled

Myersville Farms currently has 30 goats, nine of which are cleared for yoga.

“They just kind of make it a little more fun,” Yoga instructor James Cheripka says. “As well as when they jump on your back...you can get a little bit deeper into a stretch.”

In just a few months, the Myers family has hosted about 12 goat yoga sessions right on the farm, which sits on the banks of Lake Jessup.

“My sessions are normally a little more quiet and reserved,” Cheripka says. “When you add the goats in, it surprises everybody. There’s a lot of laughter.”

READ: “I had a foot in the grave”: Suicide survivor starts non-profit providing scholarships for therapy

Myers says the goats and yoga have been the perfect match for the pandemic.

“It checked all the boxes...because we were outside, and we could social distance, and it was fun and entertaining and therapeutic. Everybody just really loved it.”

For more information on Myersville Farms, the classes they offer, and their goat yoga sessions, click here.