Everett Fred Meyer Cleans Green With Grazing Goats

July 11, 2017



This is what the area looked like before the goats started yesterday


After just 18 hours


The goats will soon be moving to the other side of this fence.


Come on out and look and learn.


Tammy Dunakin started the business 13 years ago.

The Fred Meyer store on Evergreen Way had a problem. At the south end of their property are acres of overgrown area that needed to be cleaned. People were camping, vegetation was getting out of hand and neighboring business wanted the area spruced up. John Ashmore, regional store services coordinator for Fred Meyer had an idea. Goats. The Fred Meyer in Covington had a similar problem and Tammy Dunakin and her company, Rent-A-Ruminant, LLC had cleaned up that area so John asked her to bring the goats to Everett. “It would cost us around $7000.00 to have a crew come in and do this manually,” Ashmore said. “This can be done at a third of the cost, is environmentally friendly and the neighbors aren’t bother by the noise and machinery of a human clean up.”

13 years ago, Tammy Dunikan started Rent-A-Ruminant, LLC on her Vashon Island farm. Today the company is growing so fast that she is looking for franchisees to expand across western Washington. “This is about as green a way to get rid of vegetation as there is,” said Dunikan. “Goats go where it is too dangerous for people or machines to operate, they are environmentally friendly and low noise.” She says the majority of the goats are rescue animals and when they get too old to work they retire to relax on her farm.

There are 120 goats working on the Fred Meyer property on Evergreen Way. Dunikan expects to have them there for the week and says people are welcome to come take a look. “Just don’t feed or touch the goats as they are working,” Dunikan said. She told MyEverettNews.com that they have done extensive work in Seattle for the Seattle Department of Transportation and will be meeting with Everett officials about cleaning hard to reach areas here. She says in 13 years she’s never had a goat injured (by a needle) and goats won’t eat needles or other hazards. Goats also reduce the seed bank so the area stays clear longer than if done by humans.

John Ashmore says Fred Meyer is pleased with how the process is green, costs less than traditional methods and has minimal impact on neighbors. He has a whole list of places to use the goats in the future. Again the public is invited to take a look at the operation which is in the 8400 block of Evergreen Way at the south end of the Fred Meyer lot. Also if your are interested in opening your own Rent-A-Ruminant franchise, here is more information.

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