GREAT FALLS, Mont.- A family's lactose intolerant daughter is inspiring them to enter a specific type of goat into Central Montana 4-H competitions.
The Rammell's are raising Nigerian Dwarf goats saving them money, and their daughter a bellyache while teaching their kids about the responsibilities behind 4-H.
The Rammell family says these goats are specifically used to produce "lactose intolerant milk".
However, they never thought about entering these types of goats into 4-H competitions until their lactose intolerant daughter inspired them to do so.
"When she was born the doctors thought she had acid reflux,” said Rammell.
After treating it for a year with medicine, the Rammells switched Emma over to store-bought milk.
"We thought it would help with her tummy issues because she cried all the time, she just was not happy,” said Rammell.
Jamie was just about to give up until her neighbor down the road suggested buying fresh cow milk from their farm.
"She started gaining weight and her hair started growing out,” said Rammell.
With 10 kids equaling out to drinking eight gallons of milk a week- buying fresh cow milk became quite pricey. Jamie decided to look into breeding her own animals for milk. She found out buying dairy goats would save the Rammells money and help Emma’s stomach out.
"So we decided to get Nigerian Dwarfs. I think there is a difference. We're healthier as a family,” said Rammell.
The Rammell's started entering these dairy goats into 4-H competitions. A decision making them unique in central Montana’s 4-h community. They're one of the only families in the area competing with Nigerian Dwarfs.
"Our extension agent said over in Billings it's a big thing over there, but he says it's gotta come this way more, and once it comes this way it will be a big thing,” said Rammell.
In Central Montana meat goats are more popular because contestants can make a profit off them, verse dairy goats because contestants take them back home with them to use their milk.
The Rammell's say this entire experience has taught them to depend on themselves instead of the store. The Rammell's say being involved with 4-H in Montana is teaching your kids how to work with animals, how to budget your money, and what it takes to raise an animal.