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Kansas Profile – Now That’s Rural: Julie Riggins, Goat Milk Soap Store

By Ron Wilson, director of the Huck Boyd National Institute for Rural Development at Kansas State University.

“Get steamed!” No, I don’t mean get mad. I mean this might be a time to try steam aromatherapy with natural products made from goat milk. Today we’ll learn about an innovative Kansas business that has created an entire line of goat milk products, including shower steamers, and is marketing those products across America and beyond.

Goat Milk Soap Store
Goat Milk Soap Store

Julie Riggins and her family are owners and creators of the Goat Milk Soap Store. Julie was living in Texas with her husband when his business transferred him to Kansas City. She left her corporate job to follow his career and became a stay-at-home mom. They chose to adopt additional children, and ultimately decided to move out of the city so the kids could grow up in a small-town environment.

They found a farm in Franklin County, Kansas, and decided they should try to grow their own food. They bought some chickens and made a big garden.

“Two of our kids are (cow milk) lactose intolerant, so I figured I should get dairy goats,” Julie said. The Riggins family bought a herd of LaMancha dairy goats from a man in Missouri. They loved the goats. They also found themselves in a constant cycle of feeding and watering. Continue reading “Kansas Profile – Now That’s Rural: Julie Riggins, Goat Milk Soap Store”

Kansas Profile – Now That’s Rural: Lyndsi Oestman, Loma Vista Nursery

By Ron Wilson, director of the Huck Boyd National Institute for Rural Development at Kansas State University.

From pitches to plants. From hardballs to hibiscus. From the strike zone to the root zone. Those phrases are a way of describing the transition made by a Major League Baseball player who, with his daughter, has developed one of the leading plant nurseries in the nation.

Lyndsi Oestman is vice president of Loma Vista Nursery in Ottawa, Kansas. She shared this remarkable story.

Lyndsi’s dad, Mark Clear, grew up in California where he worked at his best friend’s family’s avocado ranch. Mark enjoyed tree pruning and avocado picking. He also enjoyed baseball. In fact, he was such a good player that he was drafted into Major League Baseball as a pitcher.

While being developed in the minor leagues, he was playing in Des Moines when he met the young woman who would become his wife. He went on to a 17-year major-league career, serving as a two-time all-star relief pitcher for the California Angels, Boston Red Sox and Milwaukee Brewers.

Continue reading “Kansas Profile – Now That’s Rural: Lyndsi Oestman, Loma Vista Nursery”