PANAMA CITY BEACH, Fla. (WMBB) — It’s not every day you get to hang out with goats, but in Panama City Beach Sunday, dozens of folks laid out their yoga mats in the Zen Garden to align their chakras with some bleating buddies.
The outdoor event allowed people the opportunity to interact with baby goats, milk mama goats, and practice their yoga poses.
Goat yoga was put on by Deane Bozeman School’s Future Farmers of America program as a fundraiser.
“We had several goats born on our farm this year, and I have a student who had several goats born on his farm, and then one of my FFA alumni leaders had some goats born,” Bozeman Agriculture Department head and FFA advisor Becky Pelotonen said. “So we all got together and collectively said, ‘Why don’t we do goat yoga?’ and have the event as a fundraiser to help us build a barn for our school.”
Bozeman’s FFA program is a top 10 premiere national chapter, so the farm is growing at a rapid pace.
Peltonen said the school needs a permanent barn to house the herd of animals.
“We have a full working farm at Bozeman,” Peltonen said. “We have cattle, we have pigs, we have goats, we have chickens, we have rabbits, and we have quail. These are on our campus at all times, and the students are all responsible for maintaining and taking care of them. We are in dire need of a barn to house our animals not only when it’s show season, but all during the year as well.”
But Peltonen said goat yoga wasn’t just to raise money.
“Now is such a significant time for mental health and yoga is really, really good for that,” Peltonen said. “Goats are actually calming animals. There’s a phrase that said ‘What got your goat?’ and what that came from is years ago, goats were like security blankets and if somebody takes your security blanket away you’d say, ‘What got your goat?’ and so that’s actually where that phrase came from, with goats being good, calming companion animals.”
Peltonen said since the event was such a success, they are hoping to organize another goat yoga fundraiser in the near future.