Dwarf goat video from Houlton farm goes viral, aired on ‘Today’

Posted Aug. 01, 2012, at 5:14 p.m.

HOULTON, Maine — Just as they did when they moved to Houlton from the Chicago suburbs nine years ago in order to start a farm, Kathryn Harnish took a leap when she posted a video of some of her Nigerian dwarf goats scampering around the yard.

Harnish and her husband, Rob Lawless, who operate Took A Leap Farm, a small goat dairy farm and state-licensed creamery, thought that friends would love to see Buttermilk, their boisterous 5-week-old dwarf goat, play with some goat friends.

Before Lawless knew it, Buttermilk had commanded a YouTube audience of more than 1.3 million people and the video was featured on the “ Today show and other online sites.

“I really can’t believe it,” Harnish said Wednesday afternoon. “I was really shocked. A co-worker from Ohio contacted me on Facebook and said that my goats were on Facebook. I just ignored it until a co-worker in Texas told me the same thing. That is when I found the clip online.”

The staff of the Today Show is in London for the Olympics and briefly showed Buttermilk jumping over and kicking some of his goat friends.

Harnish said that it is not atypical behavior for the goats, and she and her husband thought it was funny and that others would agree.

The video has gone viral and has been shared on Facebook and Twitter numerous times, and media agencies from across the state, nation and countries such as Australia and Norway. More media interviews are planned for tomorrow.

The farm sells a small repertoire of fresh goat cheeses and they also have chickens, a donkey and other animals at the farm.

Harnish said she told her friends that she and her husband would make a donation to Farm Sanctuary, a nonprofit organization that rescues, rehabilitates and educates the public about farm animals, if the video got more than 1,000 hits.

“I had to make that donation pretty quickly,” she said Wednesday.