Goat’s online fame spotlights local farm
By KENDALL KING, Local Journalism Initiative reporter on February 11, 2022.
Leisure Way Mini Farms, located between Dunmore and Medicine Hat, is gaining notoriety both for its famous Tik Tok goat and for the community and environmental betterment efforts that take place there.
Leisure Way Mini Farms is located on the property of Leisure Way Community Group Homes, a local facility with supportive services.
The farm began in 2002, when Patrick and Karen Roche, founders of Leisure Way Community Group Home, purchased several horses that residents could interact with. Since then the farm has grown to include horses, goats, pigs, chickens and ducks.
Sean Roche, operator and manager of the Leisure Way farm and group home, has found that the presence of animals helps provide a sense of comfort and purpose, as residents who are able are encouraged to care for the animals. .
“It’s very therapeutic,” Roche told The News. “If a resident is able to get out and into enclosures and take care of creatures or if they don’t have mobility and need to be indoors most of the time, just look out the window and see animals be animals. has proven to make our residents feel like they are not just in a care home, but in a place of purpose. It also exposes many people in this region to environments they are familiar with. »
All products provided by animals, such as eggs and meat, are enjoyed by residents. As the farm grew, the Roches were often contacted by families of residents who were impressed with the mini-farm and the positive experiences it offered.
“We engaged the community because individuals and families reached out and (asked) to volunteer,” Roche said.
Since then, Leisure Way Mini Farm has opened its doors to the public, offering interactive tours and agricultural education sessions, as well as weekend open houses.
While attendees can expect to learn more about how the Leisure Way mini-farm works and how the animals that live on the farm interact with each other, the star of the tour is Buckley the goat who has gained considerable fame on Tik Tok.
Buckley is a rare blue-eyed tricolor Nigerian miniature goat. His Tik Tok account, which features him and the other Leisure Way Mini Farm animals, has nearly 75,000 followers and over a million likes.
“It exploded overnight,” laughed Roche. “He has videos with over 7 or 8 million views now.”
While Buckley only has Tik Tok, he has been featured on various social media platforms, such as Instagram and Facebook.
“This exposure to Tik Tok is huge for the generation gap because we’ll have people here who love farms, but sometimes families bring kids who don’t want to hang up their phones. (When I tell them to) watch Buckley the goat, they (say) ‘Oh my God! You have a goat on Tik Tok. ”
As Buckley’s fame continues to grow, Roche hopes more people will find out about Leisure Way Mini Farms and visit the site.
“I don’t want everyone to come here and feel like they have to drive in the world of agriculture, I just want to facilitate an opportunity to get out of the concrete jungle, to be more in touch with the dirt under our feet, learn a bit about where your food comes from and just have fun with the animals,” he said.
“That’s the #1 theme that runs through all of this. Where we live, where we are and what we do with our land is meant to be a therapeutic and immersive experience for our residents and staff, their families and the community,” said Roche.
For more from Buckley and his farm friends, visit his Tik Tok account @buckleythegoat. For more information about Leisure Way Mini Farms and the food products produced there, contact Roche at 639-317-4846.