Jamie was raised in South Florida and never could have imagined that her life would go from beaches on the weekends to tending to farm animals. She and her family moved to Nashville in 2008, as Nashville was brimming with a change of pace and new opportunities for her young family. Jamie has been a Licensed Clinical Social Worker for over 17 years, most recently working at an inpatient psychiatric hospital. She understands and appreciates the therapeutic benefit that animals allow us to experience.
The laughter, smiles and sense of community that is evident in every interaction with our goats (from small children to experienced handlers) emphasizes the reverence for goats and the love they share with their humans.
In 2011, Jamie’s world turned upside down. Her stepfather, the man that did the daily grind of raising two children who were not his own, died in Hospice after numerous health problems. Three months later, her biological Dad took his life after battling a lifetime of mental health issues and addiction. Jamie continues to look back on that time and wonder how she made it to today. But, the path and message make more sense now than they ever did before. We, as humans, crave peace and support. Support from friends, from family, from strangers who just get it. The journey of Shenanigoats makes perfect sense now…goats are a way to make people happy, to bring people together and to relieve stress. The laughter, smiles and sense of community that is evident in every interaction with our goats (from small children to experienced handlers) emphasizes the reverence for goats and the love they share with their humans. There is a reason they are called “kids.”
Jamie shares her life with Max and her two children who, although they think their mom is the “crazy goat lady” are our biggest supporters and helpers. They are the first to offer help and proudly call themselves “goat whisperers.”
Max was born in Salt Lake City, Utah, the middle child of eight rambunctious children, Max learned at a young age how to navigate life independently. While the nearest farm was 20 miles away, they remember trips to the dairy with their mom where she purchased 40 gallons of milk every two weeks. The smell of the farm, the animals, the drive were all exhilarating and they knew at a young age that someday they’d have a farm or ranch of their own.
Max’s family history was one of hard work, patience, humility, and luck. One of the things Max commonly says is “we’re all just one or two generations off the family farm”.
Growing up in Utah, families and their histories are a major emphasis for teaching, along with their church life. Max’s family history was one of hard work, patience, humility, and luck. One of the things Max commonly says is “we’re all just one or two generations off the family farm”. This was true for Max on both sides of their immigrant family history. Whether puritan or pioneer there is a spirit of “we can do it,” in Max’s DNA.
Two years ago Max cashed in on the hard work of their video game and technology career and purchased a 47 acre farm, proudly named Towanda Farms, in middle Tennessee. They haven’t looked back since but have changed their goals and the animals they are focused on. Many times Max has pondered the teachings of Jesus in the Parable of the sheep and the goats and is still perplexed by the riddle. “I don’t think it’s as simple as some of us go to heaven and some of us go to hell.” Having worked with both animals since the farm started Max has a strong love for their flock of rare Jacob sheep. The goats were an afterthought in the original farm plans and started because their Pyrenees dog kept leaving the property. Everyone said “Millie needs a job,” so Max purchased their first two farm animals Amos and Nettie named after two of their best city pals. The rest is history as they say, and the future is bright for all of us involved in Shenanigoats and Towanda Farms.
LIFE LOVE LAUGHTER