Most people hold on to their jobs for security and whatever benefits they might provide. But some adventurous souls follow a more challenging path, becoming entrepreneurs, working for themselves with no safety net to catch them if they fail. One urban couple chose to move to the country in Waller County, Texas, northwest of Houston, to begin a new life and business, with goats.
Part of the daily routine for Christian Seger at the Blue Heron Farm is milking the goats at feeding time.
His wife, Lisa, maintains the kitchen they built to meet state specifications.
And they had to buy these expensive machines to pasteurize the milk. “It is not something you can do as a hobby. When we decided to do this, we had to make the investment and treat it like a business," said Lisa.
Both of the Segers were city dwellers five years ago. She worked in advertising. He handled sound systems for entertainers.
But Christian says he wanted to go into business for himself. “Working for other people my whole life, I felt I had given them more than I had gotten from them. No one is ever going to take a loss to pay you more," he said.
The Segers bought this four-hectare property in 2006 and the equipment they needed for their enterprise.
Working as a team, they process the milk, make the cheese and sell some of it to restaurants and special clients.
And they sell cheese at weekly farmers markets, like this one in a parking lot at Rice University in Houston that attracts urban residents who want locally produced, healthy food. “With Houston, we have a big city full of a lot of adventurous foodies and so there really is quite a market for it," she said.
Neither of the Segers had any experience in agriculture or food production before they began this enterprise. But Lisa says that didn't stop them. “We have learned in this amazing age we live in that you can learn anything from the Internet, anything! So we Googled everything," she said.
One thing Christian says they have learned through their rural experience is to live by nature's cycles.
"When it is wintertime, the goats eat at 5:00 p.m, we milk them at 5:00, they are done and go to bed by 6:00. In the summertime, it gets dark so late that we are out until 9:00 or 9:30. You just kind of get on their cycle," said Lisa.
Lisa says they care for their goats almost as if they were family. “Stewardship of the animals is a huge thing, stewardship of the animals and the earth, and if we cannot take care of them in a way that we think is appropriate, then we cannot do this," she said.
Christian and Lisa Seger are now fully immersed in their business and their life in the country, and they're not looking back.