HARRISBURG, Pa. (Erie News Now) — With hundreds of competitions, vendors and exhibits, there is certainly a lot to take in during the annual Pennsylvania Farm Show. However, one exhibit appears to be stealing the show: Goat Snuggling.
“It’s literally what it sounds like, it’s a goat snuggling stand. We have about 40 baby goats in here, where people can come and sit for as long as they want and snuggle the goats,” said Justin Steinmetz.
Steinmetz’s wife, Laura, came up with the idea. The couple owns and operates Steinmetz Family Farm, located in Fleetwood, Pa.
“We’re goat farmers. I wasn’t always a goat farmer; I was a contractor. Then my wife had the brainy idea to do goat snuggling,” said Justin Steinmetz. “So, I quit contracting, and now we just do goat snuggles and goat farming,” he added.
The exhibit is attracting many Farm Show attendees, especially children.
“It’s the best thing they’ve ever done, they don’t ever want to leave. The feedback is phenomenal,” said Steinmetz. “The lines are 40 minutes long when it’s busy. It’s hard to get everyone to leave, people want to buy goats, they just want to take them home. So, it’s great, positive feedback,” Steinmetz added.
Each goat has their own name and their own story, like Hope. Two months ago, Hope was born breech and not breathing. Steinmetz did his best to perform “goat CPR,” and after roughly fifteen minutes, Hope was breathing. His wife Laura captured a video of the life-saving effort, which went viral online.
In addition to goat snuggling, Steinmetz Family Farm also offers goat yoga, a traveling pet zoo, and even “Rent-a-Goat!”
When asked if goat snuggling would return for the 2024 PA Farm Show, Steinmetz replied: “Absolutely, and it’s going to be two or three times as big as it is now so we don’t have lines next year,” said Steinmetz.
The 2023 PA Farm Show runs through this Saturday at the Farm Show Complex and Expo Center in Harrisburg.