You just never know what to expect at Fort Kickass. Take for instance the day I visited. “We have to hurry the babies need to be fed!”There was a sense of urgency in Tiffany’s voice as I exited my car. She ushered me quickly into the barn where two very adorable 3 day old black twin goats were noisily bleating. They wanted their milk and they wanted it now! Seems their mother had rejected them at birth so Tiffany was on the job 24/7 keeping up with their feeding schedule.
For Tiffany Elste and her husband Aaron Shively purchasing land and a home in rural Pine River, MN in 2014 was life altering. They lived the fast-paced corporate life in the Twin Cities but sought change in their lives. Two weeks after closing on the property, they began farm life with two goats, Lexsie and Arya, followed in the next three years with 23 more goats, chickens, guineas, 3 dogs and several rescue cats.
Tiffany and Aaron are firm believers in supporting the local community and building relationships with neighbors and local businesses. Aaron, a software engineer, works locally at Landis+Gyr, and Tiffany owns her own legal practice. After spending ten years in corporate law in the Twin Cities Tiffany wanted to build a practice that allows her to connect with clients. She keeps a home office and meets with clients in their home or her office. Tiffany is currently accepting new clients who need help with legal matters for small business, estate planning and other local needs that require legal counsel.
Aaron and Tiffany chose the name Fort Kickass because they wanted a name that reflects their unique personalities. Their shared vision is to build a self-sustainable farm that offers produce and meat raised using natural methods. They built a framed structure to supplement their outdoor space of 16 acres as they are working towards successfully being able to raise produce three seasons out of the year.
Tiffany is a devoted mom to her goats. Each goat is named and receives quality care in pristine surroundings. Tiffany and Aaron compost the contents of the goat barn and chicken coop along with all their kitchen scraps to fertilize gardens and crops. The chickens are pasture raised and supplemented with a commercial feed and kitchen scraps. The goats have plenty of contained space to roam and are protected by Odin, a livestock guardian dog. Odin lives in the barn with the goats and spends his nights patrolling the pasture and barking at anything that comes too close to his property
The female goats are raised for breeding stock, and male goats, bucks, are sold live for breeding or meat. At this time they do not sell packaged meat at markets, but can arrange to have an animal slaughtered and butchered upon request.
Tiffany and Aaron are a hardworking and industrious couple dedicated to raising healthy well cared for animals. They continually work on improving their sustainable farming methods.
Check their FB page and website for updates on life at Fort Kickass, products and their current schedule. https://www.facebook.com/thisisfortkickass
Article submitted to Lakes Area Living Magazine June 2017