Alberta goat farm family vying for Department of National Defence lawn-grazing bid
EDMONTON -- An online post seeking a hungry ground army for deployment at an air base is closed for submissions and an Alberta family is hoping to be selected as the successful applicant.
Earlier this week, the Department of National Defence issued an unusal tender for goats and sheep to graze down part of the base at 4 Wing Cold Lake.
The ad, posted to the Government of Canada Buy and Sell website, stated the base "has areas that are difficult to maintain due to the degree of slope and accessibility,".
The contractor must supply a herd of at least 70 per cent goats and up to 30 per cent sheep for a total of 250 livestock, according to the listing.
“Lots of goat farmers don’t necessarily have quite the numbers to do it,” said Darci Penner, who operates Penner Goats & Custom Grazing in Mallaig, Alta., with her husband, Michael.
When the online tender expired Wednesday afternoon, the Penners were one of just two publicly listed applicants. They say they’re currently very busy, but would certainly make time for the government contract.
"We’re starting to get to the point where four or five contracts is all we can manage per year,” said Penner, who said their herd of more than 500 goats has been used at 4 Wing Cold Lake for the past three years as part of a pilot project to keep tall grass under control.
“It’s probably about 10 feet high,” said Penner.
CTV News Edmonton contacted the Public Affairs Officer for 4 Wing Cold Lake for comment but received no response.
DND is hoping to have hooves hit the ground on July 12.