Mike Canaday, Director of Operations
Mike and Jan Canaday have 30 years experience in ranching and training Border Collies to work livestock. We know of no other company that can match this experience in using dogs and portable electric fence to control goats, cattle and sheep.
Mike and Jan are longtime respected members of the Border Collie community. Mike was the President (1999 to 2004) of the United States Border Collie Handlers Association. This is the organization that sanctions the most prestigious Sheepdog and Cow-dog Competitions in the US and Canada as well as runs the National Sheepdog Finals and the National Cattledog Finals.
Mike is one of only a handful of dog handlers that have placed in the top ten of both the National Sheepdog and National Cattledog Finals. Both Mike and Jan compete in and win stockdog competitions on the west coast. This is important as Mike and Jan have complete control of the grazing animals as well as being able to move herds down city streets if necessary. In addition, they have used netting fence and high powered fence energizers since 1980.
In April of 2013 Mike joined RentAGoat as Director of Operations, bringing his vast experience, knowledge, and passion to the company.
Herd of Boer Goats
Boer Goats are one of the most popular goats in the world with origins tracing back to South Africa where they were used for their excellent meat. The original US breeding stock came from herds in New Zealand before they were moved to Texas. It wasn’t long before the hearty, hungry Boer Goat was used to clear vast swaths of land.
Their particular breed are known as “browsers”, endlessly munching on a variety of brush better than any other breed, eating up to 8 pounds of green foliage a day. While Boer goats may not be as interesting as other breeds (Fainting Goats), we love how their 4 chamber stomachs sterilize seeds of the plants they eat, stopping the propagation of more weeds! Rent A Goat employs over 2,500 Boer Goats for it’s land clearing operations. Along with all the food they can eat, free medical, paid travel expenses, and time off make working for Rent A Goat one of the best jobs for goats world wide!
Goats have proven their usefulness around the world by clearing land of wanted brush and vegetation. Traditional landscapers use gas guzzling machines, cancerous chemicals, or expensive manual labor to clear large plots of land. Recently it was found that goats simply do a better job. Not to mention they save cities and governments thousands on routine brush clearing, while reducing forest fires. Goats save lives.
Kate the Border Collie
Border Collies were first used in the Anglo-Scottish border region for herding livestock like sheep during the 1800’s. It is thought that the word “collie” comes from the old Celtic word for “useful”. Border Collies are ranked #1 in Stanley Coren’s The Intelligence of Dogs and are typically “extremely energetic, acrobatic, smart and athletic”.
Kate is a prized winning Border Collie. She works with Mike to help herd goats when moving them to new job sites. She’s quite good at it too. Kate is a decorated cattledog, having won many local, state, and national championships. She, and many of our other Border Collies, are the secret behind RentAGoat’s success.
Flock of Sheep
While goats are great for a large variety of land clearing jobs, believe it or not, sometimes they simply aren’t the best choice. For large swaths of native grasses our flock of sheep take over! Descending from mouflon (how cool do they look?!) of Europe and Asia sheep are one of the earliest animals to be domesticated for agricultural purposes. Rent A Goat employs over 500 domestic sheep for their amazing land clearing ability. Have a cute preference? Be sure to inquire when scheduling! Little known fact, did you know sheep wool is the most widely used animal fiber in the world?
Jan is a seasoned goat expert. She helps young goat kids who struggle with the principles of breast feeding from their moms, administers first aid to goats with minor health issues, and makes sure all of the animals are behaving normally and healthily.
Jan is one of the most kind hearted individuals you will ever meet. She can often be found bottle nursing young goats, trimming hooves, deworming, and more. She brings over 10 years of experience to Rent A Goat and her knowledge is invaluable. It’s a hard job, but Jan makes it look easy–and she loves it too!
Matt Richmond, Chief Executive Officer
Matt Richmond started the first Rent A Goat in June of 2010 in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. He teamed up with a local farmer who owned just over 20 goats in rural Zebulon, North Carolina. Quickly business picked up as eco-conscious customers in North Carolina flocked to hire goats to clear their properties. As demand for Rent A Goat increased, local and national news outlets began to cover the green service and customer inquiries sky rocketed. Richmond pivoted his company, helping connect customers to goat grazing services across the nation.
Richmond attended UNC Asheville where he double majored in B.S. Health and Wellness and B.A. Psychology, while graduating a year early. He was endlessly involved on campus and in the community. Richmond’s true passion was in volunteering with the community. He worked with the “I Have a Dream Foundation” tutoring underprivileged youth in downtown Asheville and later volunteered with “Wellness Activities for Seniors in Asheville” (WASA). He later won the Student Lehrer Scholarship for dedication to the community and merit.
Before attending graduate school Richmond worked for UNC-Chapel Hill Gillings School of Global Public Health under Dr. Kurt Ribisl and Dr. Rebecca Williams studying internet tobacco sales funded by the National Cancer Institute.
Richmond continues his altruistic nature and passion for service with Rent A Goat, working to help solve the problem of land management and environmental pollution. He brings a successful history of marketing and business management to Rent A Goat, having owned multiple small-businesses enterprises which were fortunate enough to receive national media attention in their own right.
Hank the Great Pyrenees
Great Pyrenees, also known as Pyrenean Mountain Dogs, are very large dogs traditionally bred for guarding livestock. They have been used for hundreds of years by shepherds around the Pyrenees Mountains in southern France and northern Spain, hence their name. Some accounts place the Great Pyrenees as far back as 1407 A.D. According to the Great Pyrenees Club of America, the breed is “naturally nocturnal and aggressive with any predators that may harm its flock”. However, the breed can typically be trusted with small, young, and helpless animals of any kind due to its natural guardian instinct.
Pyrenees like Hank are invaluable to Rent A Goat. Along with our shepherds, they help protect our goats both day and night from predators. They truly are great guardians!
Grass guzzling machines
RentAGoat.com is Carbon Neutral. Enjoy guilt free.