I got a chance to chat via email with Renee Taylor from Argos Farms in Monte. Here is my interview with her…
1. What is the name of your farm and how long have you been farming?
We are Argos Farms, 50 acres located on the Chehalis River near Montesano. We moved all our animals here from Southern California 2 years ago, but I’ve been breeding and raising Endurance Riding horses for 22 years; Angora goats and poultry for about 15 years. Since being here I’ve found that I also have a passion for the native plants, and have taken classes in responsible silviculture; which means I try to take proper care of our 1500 trees, wetlands and pasture for future generations.
2. What type of things make your farm unique?
(I’m not sure – it seems we’re a pretty standard homestead, but I’ll try to answer.)
On many farms and ranches the animals are fenced in and kept in one kind of box or another. We have put a fence around our house, vehicles and equipment and pretty much let the animals have the run of the place. They have all grown up together and understand each other’s tolerances. We do lock-down at night for predator protection, and have safe areas when someone doesn’t feel well, but other than that they pretty much roam as they might in the wild.
3. Why do you have a passion for what you do?
I have had a passion for raising horses since my brother got his first horse when I was 2. It has always been easy for me to communicate with animals and understand their needs within their frame of reference. If you can’t understand how someone looks at things you’ll always be at odds, and every type of animal sees things completely differently for different reasons.. I think the whole thing is fascinating. As you can probably tell by the way I talk, I respect all living things as individuals.
4. What is one thing people don’t realize about what you do?
Angora goats provide us with the fiber Mohair, which is made into clothing, toys, furniture, etc. It continually amazes me that so many people have no idea where their clothing comes from or what it takes to bring food to the table. I find great pleasure in sharing this knowledge. Each person is so pleased to have this new knowledge – when their faces light up with understanding, it just makes me smile.
5. How important is community to you?
Being raised in large cities, it was natural and expected that you might live next to someone for years and never know their name or even speak to them. When we came here I didn’t know anyone, but was determined to find worthy friends. Right away, when we needed help, our neighbors stepped up as if they were family. I know them all and love them all. I have met some of the nicest, caring people ever in my life. This is what I have always expected community to be like; what it should be. I love it here, and hope I never leave.