We’ve been really excited to be working on our business plan to achieve and maintain our agriculture exemption for our new property.
Here in Texas, property taxes can be pretty outrageous since they (in part) make up for our lack of state income tax. With an agriculture exemption on our property, we could save up to $22,000 per year in taxes, so it is really worth it for us to spend some time and money ensuring that we can do it!
We first looked at the guidelines for our county to determine what was needed to establish the exemption. In our county, you must meet the requirements for 5 out of the last 7 years in order to apply. We looked into a couple of options including growing and cutting hay, keeping farm animals, and even bee keeping!
While we may venture into some other areas in the future, at this point we decided that the easiest option for us was going to be keeping goats! Our property is fairly wooded, with a good quantity of undesirable plants like poison ivy. Goats are great browsers (although they don’t make great lawnmowers) because they like to eat woody stems and plants.
Last fall we found a sweet little herd of goats to put out on our property.
Initially we brought them to the property we’re currently living on, while we set up a temporary pen for them on the farm. Then we took them out there to enjoy their new home! Several of the female goats were reportedly pregnant at the time of purchase, and we were thrilled to welcome our first goat kids this spring, SNASA and Smoon!
If you’d like to follow our updates with the farm and goats specifically, you can follow us @ursamajorfarm or go to http://www.ursamajorfarm.com
We’ll be posting updates there on our progress on the farm, as well as new goat acquisitions and babies for sale!
Our most recent foray with the goats has been in purchasing a number of Boer goats, which are quite a bit bigger than our little pygmys. Boer goats and traditional meat goats, but ours are anything but traditional looking! We’ve purchased this lovely doe below (Parker named her Pandora Rocket Ship, or “Panda”) as well as a black caped doe (Ice Cream Robot, another Parker christening).
We’ve also reserved these precious black dapple and tiger dapple doelings below.
We’re thrilled to be off on another adventure, this time with our homestead! A few additional projects include building a permanent goat shelter, a chicken coop, and fencing the main goat pastures.
We’ll be back soon with more updates!