RICHMOND — If a greeting card isn’t cutting it anymore, Rock Bottom Farm’s annual Mother’s Day Goat Snuggle may be a good tradition to start observing.

Hundreds of guests, largely small families, made the trip to Rock Bottom Farm to visit with the nannies, billies and kids and take a tour of the farm.

Rock Bottom Farm owners Scott MacMaster and Melissa Hackett held the first public goat snuggle last year to enormous fanfare. Hackett said more than 400 people attended the event, from a wide range of demographics. Judging by the laughter and smiles as families left, this year’s snuggle was also a success.

“There are plenty of families with little kids … (and) we’ve seen some young adults come out,” she said. “We had a couple that was FaceTiming family in New York.”

Parker MacMaster, 11, sells items Sunday raised at his family’s farm, Rock Bottom, in Richmond. Kennebec Journal photo by Andy Molloy

Jim Hoenig, of Kennebunk, attended the goat snuggle for the first time with his family, including daughter Bronwyn Farrington and 18-month-old granddaughter Bailey.

“That’s how these farms can stay around here,” he said. “Otherwise big business (will take over) or they can’t afford to stay around.

“It’s pretty awesome to be able to come out here and have everybody touch the goats,” Hoenig added. “Coming to events like this is just fabulous.”

Farrington, 20, said her daughter “loved” spending time at the farm with the goats.

“She kept trying to kiss all of them,” she laughed. “She kissed a lot of them.”

MacMaster and Hackett both work full-time jobs away from the farm. MacMaster is the Richmond Police Chief, and Hackett is a nurse practitioner at Richmond Area Health Center.

It was easy to see the farm’s two dozen goats were pleased with the attention. They were visited by throngs of eager children and adults, who piled into a large pen.

Visitors congregated around a trampoline and wooden deck chairs, where the goats were bucking around. Although it was against the rules to chase the animals, cute anarchy ensued as children tried to corral the smallest goats. Older, wiser goats roamed around the outside of the pen, away from the hubbub.

When asked if the goats actually enjoy the snuggling, Hackett said generally they do, but, like humans, some like it more than others.

“We do have some kids that were bottle raised, so they much prefer snuggling,” she said. “Some will fall asleep (in your arms.)”

Barbara Shorette, 88, of Dresden, holds a hen Sunday at Rock Bottom Farm in Richmond. “I’m just an old biddy holding a young one,” she joked. Kennebec Journal photo by Andy Molloy

A few hundred feet away, around a chicken coop, chicks scurried to get away from the children and to the safety of their mothers, and roosters strutted around the farmhouse while Rex, a Great Pyrenees who helps herd the goats, kept an eye on them from the house’s window. As attendees came up the hill, they were greeted by a metal washtub filled with baby ducks and a stand selling farm-fresh eggs, maple cotton candy and locally made goats’ milk soap.

MacMaster and Hackett moved to the 27-acre property from a two-acre farm in Dresden last summer, which afforded room for more animals and room for expansion. Between the couple and their four sons aged 9 to 16, the farm operation produces eggs, goat milk products and maple syrup.

Hackett said she is working to expand to a commercial dairy and plant vegetables and berries in the near future.


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