FarmHER: Get down with goat yoga at Coco’s Ranch


From the minute I set foot on Coco’s Ranch I felt at peace. I can tell you hands down that a huge part of that comfort was from Nancy, the FarmHer. Her love of the animals and the land comes through in not only her words but her actions. Just listening to her talk about how she cares for them and how they run the farm was a joy. Nancy cares for the animals on a deep level and spreads her love of them through all visitors at the farm.

Nancy landed in her FarmHer role when she discovered Nigerian Dwarf Goats on a TV program. Her significant other already had cattle and could offer some support in caring for animals so they took the plunge and Coco’s Ranch became a home for a herd of tiny, adorable goats. From there they added a herd of sheep and the rest is history.

I arrived at Coco’s Ranch in eastern Iowa on a cool humid morning that quickly gave way to a hot and sticky day. First up, a round of goat yoga. We ventured over to a nearby pasture where a yoga instructor was waiting patiently and enjoying the goats. We couldn’t get started until I held a few, of course, so I rounded up a few kids and gave them a quick cuddle before hitting the yoga mat. Despite the hot weather and my less than ideal jeans, the yoga session was surprisingly calm. The wind softly blew through the pasture, the goats roamed through those of us practicing yoga and the instructor calmly chanted out her instructions. Before I knew it the session was over and we made our way over to a stand set up for a drink of Nancy’s homemade grape juice which was another surprising treat! I have never had homemade grape juice but it was cool and slightly sweet with just enough tart to it to give us the refreshment we needed to check out the rest of the farm.

With my camera back at my side, we headed to another pasture where Nancy gave some grain to the impatiently waiting herd of sheep. She explained that all of the animals on the farm have been a huge learning curve, but one she has thoroughly enjoyed. Her life has changed massively from being the woman who got her nails done and hair dyed, to being a FarmHer through and through. Hearing her words were convincing but seeing Nancy at work made my heart happy that she has found her place.

Our last stop before lunch was to a small barn with a few goats that were either getting ready to give birth or who had just given birth to kids. Nancy let me hold the tiniest kid….not even two pounds or two days old yet. It’s a wonder I didn’t tuck it away in my camera bag and bring it home with me. It was definitely one of the cutest animals I have ever seen and held!

Once all of the work on the farm was done, Nancy and Tom wrapped up the day with a delicious lunch of gyros, with meat harvested from their sheep. Nancy has a deep respect for the animals she raises and is focused on economic sustainability as well. She is proud of the products that come from their farm, and the families they feed with the meat they harvest. Coco’s Ranch is just like every other farm but yet so unique too. Unique because of the FarmHer who spreads a message of inspiration. Anyone can follow their dreams, regardless of age or background or amount of land. Nancy is doing just that, living out her dream while giving back to her community and utilizing resources with ingenuity and hard work.