'Authentic and organic:' Madison area high school students care for goats, kids in classroom

OREGON -- Students at Oregon High School in Dane County aren’t kidding around when it comes to their class project. The horse and animal science class is caring for two baby goats and two female goats this semester.

Kate Davis is a sophomore in the class and her family owns Chasing Blue Farms -- allowing the two Boer goats to be a part of the educational process.

“I think it does expose a lot of kids to a lot of different things they’ve never experienced,” Davis said. “It’s just a farm at my house, and we do what we do.”

During the last week of January, one of the goats gave birth, and students were able to watch the birthing and delivery process.

“It’s always better when you get to see things firsthand,” said Jillian Beaty, agriculture education instructor. “This is authentic and organic.”

Before the goats were brought into the classroom, Beaty taught the students about the goat's reproductive system and what to expect once the kids were born.

While she was already familiar with the process, Davis said she enjoyed sharing the experience with her classmates and answering their questions.

“It’s really cool to see everyone else interacting with the goats and kind of do what I’m doing at home,” Davis said.

In 2019, Beaty did a similar project -- housing pigs and piglets in her classroom. She said the feedback was overwhelmingly positive.

“One of the greatest compliments afterwards was, ‘This is the conversation our family had around the dinner table every night,’” Beaty said. “To think how education can go from these walls to home and more is what you’re really aiming for.”

The goats were expected to live at the high school for about four weeks before returning to Chasing Blue Farms.

The other female goat was expected to give birth during the first weekend in February -- which means the students could have up to four kids to care for over the next month.