Jodi Kocsis of Hidden Hill Farm is a self-proclaimed caprine champion. She makes goat soaps, lotions and salves to sell at local stores and sells goat milk at their farm in Vernon, VT.

“I tell people I’m a goat person. Owning the goats gets me up in the morning and outside every morning whether I want to or not,” she said. “I may get up and be dragging, but by the time I’m done with the chores, I’m ready to go.

“I may have 30 goats in my own yard, but if I go to a fair or see someone with a goat, I have to get a picture of that goat and person too.”

She has owned goats since 2015 and started milking the goats in 2018. Owning the goats was “a natural progression down the slippery slope to having your own food in your own backyard,” she said. She and her husband, fellow farmer Jeff Kocsis, purchased their property in 2014.

Making soap and lotion was a fun addition along the way, as they use the extra milk from the goats as a way to supplement what it costs to own them – with positive results. They have a website where they sell their products, but online sales haven’t quite taken off the way their local following has.

They sell their products through word-of-mouth and to local stores, such as Guildford Country Store and at Upinngil Farm in Gill, MA, Leverett Village Co-op in Leverett, MA, and Sweet Lucy’s Bakeshop in Bernardston, MA.

The soaps come in assortment of scents including cherry almond, tropical coconut, cinnamon orange clove, cedarwood and sage, lilac and coffee bean. Their salve is aptly named Arnica Sore Muscle Salve.

“We are legally allowed to sell the goat milk to customers from our farm,” said Jodi.

She has goat milk available year-round as she stores the milk in three freezers to use when she is ready to utilize it. Mondays and Tuesdays are soap and lotion crafting days.

Four days of the week she works in a hair salon in Greenfield, MA, that she co-owns with her best friend Aubrey Lynch McCarthy. Back at the farm, milking the goats starts at 6 a.m. daily. The day’s chores depend on the day’s needs – getting hay, cleaning out the goat pens, whatever needs to be done.

Hidden Hill Farm, home of goat people

Jodi Kocsis of Hidden Hill Farm in Vernon, VT, with her goats. Photo by Laura Rodley

Nineteen kids were born this season, of a mix of large dairy breed lineage that is heavy on Nubian, Alpine, LaMancha and a little bit of Saanen and a Swiss breed, Oberhasli. They are currently milking eight does. The goats are fed grain with their diet when they are pregnant or milking.

“When I don’t have all the babies, the goats free-range my properties and are free to graze our 11-plus acres, and eat what they will, at their own choosing. It might not be a great plan, or for everybody, but it works for us,” said Jodi.

And owning goats is never boring. In late March, one of their does, Fiona, surprised them with a set of doeling triplets born a short distance away from the barn in the woods, when Jeff and her son Noel were assisting another doe with a birth that they were expecting later in the day.

The triplets’ sire was a purebred Nubian named Hawkeye, so-named as the family are fans of “M*A*S*H” (though she was also bred to their other sire, named Radar, a Saanen-Oberhasli cross). The doelings long dangling ears give their lineage away. It was Fiona’s second litter. For her first litter, Fiona birthed a single buckling.

It’s hard not to have favorites, and Jodi does have a favorite doe, Mercy, who was the first to come running up as Jodi approached the goat pen’s fence.

As she is home from college for a month before her summer job starts at a camp, their daughter Lilia helps out with all the chores.

The farm also has an assortment of mixed breed laying hens and they sell their eggs.

Jodi has farming in her genes, as her great-grandfather, Nickolas Rewa, once owned a farm in Deerfield, MA, and her father, Kenneth Rewa, bestowed upon her a love of “the backyard garden” and all the treasures therein.

You can follow the farm on Instagram or Facebook or their website,

by Laura Rodley