This is one of 13 goats that help with yoga class at Have Ya Herd, a goat yoga studio owned by dairy farmers Kevin and Jessica Lubich near Roberts, Wis. The Lubichs milk 60 cows with Kevin’s father, Paul, near River Falls, Wis. 
This is one of 13 goats that help with yoga class at Have Ya Herd, a goat yoga studio owned by dairy farmers Kevin and Jessica Lubich near Roberts, Wis. The Lubichs milk 60 cows with Kevin’s father, Paul, near River Falls, Wis. PHOTO BY BRITTANY OLSON
    ROBERTS, Wis. – After their plans to add dairy goats to an existing 60-cow dairy fell through, Paul Lubich and his son and daughter-in-law, Kevin and Jessica Lubich, are finding themselves as not only dairy farmers, but yoga studio owners.
    The Lubichs, who farm between River Falls and Roberts, Wis., are the proud proprietors of Have Ya Herd, a goat yoga studio, which came to be earlier this year and offers yoga classes every weekend. The studio is located in an outbuilding at Kevin and Jessica’s home a few miles north of the Lubichs’ farm.
    “Dad got a wild hair to start milking goats last year, and about a dozen goats became 100 last summer,” Kevin said.
    Paul said it was a move to diversify the farm’s business portfolio with stagnant milk prices.
    “I said, ‘This milking cows thing isn’t working too great,’ and I saw something about dairy goats on one of the ag TV shows, so I figured we’d at least give it a try,” Paul said. “Then, the creamery backed out on us.”
    Even though the Lubichs found themselves thankful that things fell apart before going as far as building a barn and milking parlor for the goats, they were now stuck with 100 goats. After selling 80 goats to a farmer in California and a couple here and there to locals, they now have just 13, which were by and large the favorites of Kevin and Jessica’s three children, Lily, 5, Macy, 2, and baby Nash.
    “The kids would say, ‘Dad, you can’t sell her. She’s my only friend,’ or ‘Dad, that one’s my favorite,’ just so they would stay,” Kevin said, shaking his head. “How do you tell them no after that?”
    Just as it was Paul’s idea to begin milking goats, goat yoga was also his idea after seeing it on TV.
    “We laughed at first,” Jessica said. “After all, milking goats was Paul’s idea, too.”
    After some deliberation, they decided that they would either sell the remainder of the goat herd or give goat yoga a try. The Lubichs found a local instructor, Stacy Wagner from Hudson, Wis., formed an LLC, and acquired insurance for their new project.
    “Stacy loved the idea, and she decided we should do a test run to see what people would think and how it would go,” Jessica said. “She invited some of her clients, and we had that first class on July 17. The people that came loved it.”
    After that, getting their studio ready mostly happened between third and fourth crop alfalfa, as well as setting up the LLC and procuring insurance. Paul’s summer farm intern, Ali McNamara, drew up the blueprint for the studio and did much of the planning, as well.
    “There were a lot of hoops to jump through,” Paul said. “They got the building set up late at night after chores or during rainy days.”
    Jessica began feeding the goats on a yoga mat so they would associate the mat with food and be more comfortable around clients. She also hired a website design and marketing, a move she is thankful for making.
    “They took the idea and ran with it,” she said.
    That was when the name came about, also.
    “We were thinking about Goats Galore or something like that, but that didn’t really roll off the tongue,” Kevin said. “But we found ourselves talking to friends and family about it and asking, ‘Have you heard?’ so Have Ya Herd seemed like a better fit.”
    The new business hosted its first class in the middle of September. Attendance holds steady at around 15 clients per class.  
    “That first class was mostly family and friends, including the legal assistant who helped with setting up the LLC,” Kevin said. “People around here think we’re nuts. Around here, if you want to be around a goat, you just go and buy a couple.”
    However, their clientele grew and continues to grow. The Lubichs estimate that over 90 percent of their business comes from the Twin Cities and its suburbs.
    “They come from Eden Prairie or Mahtomedi or wherever, and they can’t believe how peaceful it is here away from the hustle and bustle,” Paul said. “That’s the market we’re trying to reach, though.”
    Things really took off after Twin Cities TV station WCCO came to Have Ya Herd and did a live broadcast, marking the first time any of the Lubichs had been on live television.
    “It was nerve-wracking for sure,” Jessica said.
    The goats have also made for great stories, including Harry Houdini, the Nigerian Dwarf goat whose likeness is featured in the Have Ya Herd logo.
    “Harry got out one night, and when goats get out they tend to stay in one spot. Not Harry. He completely disappeared,” Jessica said. “Two days later, our neighbor 2 miles away called and asked if we were missing a kid. I counted all three of my children before realizing she was talking about a goat. She found Harry in her chicken coop.”
    Right now, as fall continues to barrel toward winter, the folks at Have Ya Herd are finding themselves wondering to continue through winter or resume classes again in the spring.
    “Our studio is an open-sided steel building,” Kevin said. “We just bought a freestall curtain for the open side to at least get us through November, but time will tell.”
    All three will readily admit that it has been very hard to balance a new business with their responsibilities on the farm.
    “It’s a hard balance for sure,” Kevin said. “Everything gets done late after dark or on a Sunday. One night, we were setting up fences at 10:30.”
    All told, the Lubich family is very happy that they decided to take the plunge into being goat yoga enthusiasts, which has been serendipity at its finest.
    “We did not expect it to get this big or take off as much as it has,” Jessica said.