Getting His Goats
When he needed life lessons for his children, Daniel Draisen started getting kids
Published in 2023 South Carolina Super Lawyers magazine
By Trevor Kupfer on April 21, 2023
Starting at about age 10, Daniel Draisen would pitch in at his parents’ music store by breaking down boxes and sweeping floors. “It taught me about life, about money and responsibility,” he recalls.
So when Draisen started having children—he has three boys, ages 6, 8 and 12—he wanted to give them a similar experience. “But it’s not like I can bring them into my office to help write briefs or do pleadings,” he says. “So we started acquiring some land behind our home and created an 18-acre farm.”
The first 5 acres they got in 2010 were overgrown. “A friend of mine suggested we get a few goats to manage it for us, rather than doing the work ourselves,” Draisen says. He soon found someone with South African Boer goats—noted for their gentle nature and larger size—and bought three: Larry, Curly and Moe. “Within four or five months, the three stooges had it looking manicured,” he says.
From there, Draisen took classes on goat care and herd management, then got some herd protectors. “We’re at about 38 goats, three sheep, three donkeys, a pig, three alpacas, a working Great Pyrenees dog, and a partridge in a pear tree,” he says with a laugh.
They grow squash, peppers, zucchini, cucumbers and carrots. “Enough for ourselves and our neighborhood, but not for a farmers market stand,” Draisen says. They do, however, sell goats at production auctions. “They’re all 100% pure blood ABGA registered and papered. People want them not for meat, but for their genetics and colors for breeding or show.”
Most important, Draisen says, his sons tackle a lot of the work. “They have their chores and get paid every week. We stack bales of hay, we vet our goats, we deal with birth and death, we garden and do some canning, we set up solar panels and drilled a well, so it’s a pretty self-sufficient operation and we’ve learned a lot. They now know the value of a dollar, how to do a job, and how to do it right.”
Draisen says it usually occupies him an hour a day and one weekend a month. “It’s pretty cathartic after a hard day of law work. In fact, there are some days I’d probably prefer to be a goat rancher.”
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