“Back to the land.”It started as an ethos for the Bice family when they established Redwood Hill Farm in 1968 among the picturesque redwoods of Sonoma County, and endures as a guiding principle for the farm to this day. Just a few miles down the road from the creamery, the farm is home to an award-winning herd of dairy goats. Our Founder and Managing Director, Jennifer Bice, lives at and owns the farm to this day, where she does what she loves the most — spend time with her goats. Her brother, Scott Bice, is the farm’s manager. See what makes this small family farm a model of land stewardship and animal care.
First Certified Humane Goat Dairy
Jennifer is passionate about providing the best quality of life for her goats. In 2005, Redwood Hill Farm became the first Certified Humane® goat dairy in the U.S. The goats are treated with love and respect, and allowed to engage in a full range of their natural behaviors. Each goat has a name and a distinct personality.
Milking goats are not required to give birth every year, and this helps ensure a long and healthy life for them. Redwood Hill Farm stops milking goats during the last two months of their pregnancy, so they can rest and give their milk to the new baby kids.
In addition to its 300 milking goats, the farm is home to an olive orchard, hop yard, fruit orchards, beehives, chicken laying flock, and vegetable gardens. These complimentary production systems balance the farm’s ecosystem, and provide benefits like soil health, pollination, weed control, compost, and waste management.
An array of solar panels automatically move throughout the day to follow the arc of the sun. These panels provide 100% of the electricity for the farm and two homes onsite.
A new rainwater catchment system consisting of three storage tanks captures up to 100,000 gallons of winter storm water. This provides year-round water for the farm, allowing the irrigation of orchards, gardens, and pastures in the dry summer months.
The farm grows a perennial, high-protein shrub called Tagasaste to supplement the goats’ diet. Tagasaste requires very little water to grow, and produces more forage on less acreage than traditional goat feed like alfalfa and grass hay – and the goats love it! This shrubby tree is also a nitrogen fixer, so it’s good for the soil as well.
Goats are raised to live comfortably into old age producing delicious milk. Older goats that no longer give milk are allowed to “retire” and live out their days relaxing on the farm. We feel that we need to give back to them after they have given us their beautiful milk for all these years. Pictured here is Ranita, the matriarch of six generations at Redwood Hill Farm. Ranita lived to the ripe old age of 15.