BLANCHESTER — These kids surely won’t get your goat.
Out on Macedonia Road near Blanchester, Lorie Orth runs the non-profit Dream to Reality Farm, a nonprofit goat therapy and livestock rescue.
While serving as a director for a senior living community, Orth and her husband purchased the farm in 2017 and Orth started breeding goats.
“I found out how relaxing the baby goats [known as “kids”] are. Once you hold them, it’s like all your cares just float away,” said Orth. “They’re not like puppies that wiggle and jerk and have all this energy.”
She said that when they’re running and playing, they look like they have a lot of energy — which they do, she advised — “but when you’re holding them, they just relax into you.”
Outside of the goats that were bred, most of the animals on the farm — pigs, roosters, rabbits, ducks, and a dwarf pony that arrived in April — are rescues.
Around the time she started breeding the goats, she began to take them into the senior living community to visit the residents, and this brought back a lot of memories to the seniors.
“They had so much joy in their heart just from holding the baby goats,” she said.
In 2020, she quit her job in part due to her Parkinson’s, but also to continue the farm and goat therapy, resulting in fulfillment her lifelong dream.
“I’ve always wanted a livestock rescue and it’s finally a dream come true,” she said.
It’s not only the seniors who get to enjoy the company of the goat kids. They’re available for birthday parties and soon they’ll be making a trip to West Chester Hospital for Nurses Week.
The biggest joy that Orth gets out of this is seeing people’s reactions to the goat therapy, whether it’s old folks doing memory care or an outdoorsy 12-year-old having the time of their life while visiting.
“(The child) came out to the farm and had the best day of life,” said Orth. “And he hasn’t stopped talking about it.”
While Orth and family members have been able to maintain the operation, volunteers and donations are always appreciated.
Donations they accept include towels, blankets, animal crackers, Fig Newtons, gift cards (Amazon, PBS, Rural King, Tractor Supply Jeffers Pet Supply), cattle panels, water buckets, hay, straw, feed bowls/troughs, rakes and pitch forks, whole milk, four-foot evergreen trees, and any monetary donations.
The farm is also open to photoshoots and onsite goat therapy.
If anyone wants to schedule an event with the goats, the pony, or make a donation, they can visit the farm’s Facebook page Dream to Reality Farm; click the “book now” button and pick their option.