Announcing the Reverse The Curse Goat Farm, Dominican Republic
By Jeremy Freeman
“Are you the star of your own life?”
Ms. Oprah Winfrey and Dr. Phil asked me this question during a recent Lifeclass.
Watch this short video with my answer.
Worldwide, 870 million people are hungry.
This isn’t a scare tactic.
It isn’t an exaggeration.
It’s just the truth.
That’s almost three times the population of the United States.
One in every seven people.
But why are so many children and their families going without enough food?
Of the world's hungry individuals come from developing countries
It’s because 850 million of those 870 million hungry individuals come from developing countries. They are rural families that depend entirely on the animals they raise and the crops they grow. These individuals are never more than one drought, one flood, or one conflict away from starvation. Many work day and night, but still can barely afford enough food for their children.
What Is The Problem?
of the world's population lives on less than $2 a day, leading to malnutrition, disease, and ultimately untimely death.
During the last few decades there have been numerous attempts to develop dairy goat projects in the Caribbean and Central America, with the aim of improving rural family nutrition and income. Once the main constraints—internal parasites, adequate housing and appropriate feeding strategies—were understood and resolved, several successful units have been established in various countries including Costa Rica, Panama, Cuba, Saint Lucia and the Dominican Republic.
The main keys for success have been elevated barns with slatted floors for efficient heat/humidity and parasite control, and appropriate forages, including legumes and high quality foliages, to meet the nutritional requirements of dairy goats without the need of expensive concentrates, rather than lower quality, but easy to grow, tropical grasses more suitable for large ruminants.
A general shortcoming to all projects in the region has been the lack of breeding stock. Thanks to their easy adaptation, when housing and feeding are suitable, most common dairy goat breeds do well in the tropics. But since the history of successful projects is rather short, there have not been local centers able to supply the increasing demand of breeding stock, with the appropriate pedigree and health certifications.
The continuous importation of animals from the United States represents high cost as well as high risk of disease introduction into the importing countries, a situation that supports the idea of local production of breeding stock.
That’s why they need our help.
How Reverse The Curse Started
What started as an effort to reverse the decades-old billy goat curse on the Chicago Cubs has turned into an international effort to cure the real and true curse of poverty and hunger in the Dominican Republic and beyond.
We don’t believe in the baseball curse.
We believe in harnessing the power of a 70 year old folklore story to move humanity forward. That’s the blue ocean of opportunity to make a difference in the world.
Founded by Jeremy Freeman, Reverse The Curse is an impact driven company that began on April 1, 2011.
Since it’s inception on April 1, 2011, Reverse The Curse has given hundreds of dairy goats and chickens to impoverished families in developing nations through the non-profit World Vision. We have also provided 200 backpacks filled with school supplies to the students at the Lake View High School and 450 books to children in Old Town.
Reverse The Curse exists to help hardworking entrepreneurs enrich their lives and lift themselves out of poverty in Chicago and developing nations, specifically the Dominican Republic and Haiti, by giving them dairy goats and technical training to start their own business. We are also providing those in need with technical training and seeds to start their own vegetable gardens.
We have worked with global companies including Starbucks and State Farm to grow our herd and impact entrepreneurs in Chicago and around the world. We have been featured on Oprah, World Vision Magazine, ESPN Magazine, TMZ, WGN News, CCLTV, World Breaking News.
People need your help to break free from poverty - with goats.
Micro-goats are a sub-category of microfinance, and a source of abundance for entrepreneurs lacking access to banking and related services to lift themselves out of poverty.
These micro-goats nourish hungry families with healthy milk, cheese, and yogurt. They also give those families a much-needed income boost by providing offspring to sell or raise, as well as extra dairy products for market sale.
A healthy dairy goat can give up to 16 cups of milk every day; and goat’s milk is an excellent source of calcium, protein, and other essential nutrients that growing children need. Goats are practical animals — flourishing in harsh climates while producing valuable manure to fertilize crops and vegetable gardens.
Female goats produce two kids per year over 10 years, a total of 40 goats from one breeding goat during her lifetime. This exponential impact means a more sustainable business model.
This also means you can 10x your impact on the world.
We believe goats have super-power to make a sustainable impact - forever.
Goats produce up to 16 cups of milk every day, that’s almost three tons of milk per year. This milk can be processed into cheese and yogurt.
By selling the milk, cheese, yogurt, and offspring … to tourists and local neighbors.
Reverse The Curse Micro educates entrepreneurs on how to sustainably start and grow a business from nothing.
We need your help to build goat farms in the Dominican Republic.
The pin on the left is the location of the first goat farm. The pin on the right is the Chicago Cubs Baseball Academy.
Our unique solution
The establishment of a dairy goat breeding center aims to provide high quality animals to small producers in the island, both Dominican Republic (DR) and Haiti, and eventually to other islands in the Caribbean to produce goats to be given to local community members in need.
We hope to eventually hit a nerve, the giving one, where the Chicago Cubs and Major League Baseball not only give us a chance, but become a key player to eradicate poverty in the Caribbean and Latin America. (Reverse The Curse Micro is not associated or affiliated with The Chicago Cubs or MLB Licensing.)
Specific Project Objectives
Supply of female breeding stock
Supply of breeding bucks
Supply of semen and embryos (second phase)
Demonstration of appropriate production systems based on local feed resources
Training of farmers and technical staff on: Forage establishment and management; Feeding and management of dairy goats; Milking practices and milk processing
Current Status On Outcomes & Activities for the Dairy Goat Breeding Center
- Phase 1 – Complete 100%
Forage production unit (5 ha) with appropriate species: Mulberry (Morus alba), Gliricidia (Gliricidia sepium), Leucaena (Leucaena leucocephala), Clitoria (Clitoria ternatea), Tithonia (Tithonia diversifolia), Moringa (Moringa oleifera), Teramnus (Teramnus labialis), among others.
Outcome 1 Activities
- Preparation of land for forage establishment
- Procurement of irrigation system
- Procurement of planting materials
- Forage establishment
- Procurement of forage harvesting and processing equipment
- Phase 2 – Complete 100%
The forages have already been planted on the farm and will be ready for harvest when the goats arrive.
Outcome 2 Activities
- Design of elevated barns and handling facilities
- Procurement of construction materials
- Construction of facilities and biodigester
- Phase 3 8%
Facility (barn) for housing dairy goats in complete confinement. Elevated barns with slatted floors; suitable urine and feces collection systems; biodigester for nutrient conservation and recycling; handling corrals for minimum animal stress; animal handling equipment.
Outcome 3 Activities
- Identification of breeding animals in the US and other countries
- Preparation of animals for export (health certificates) to the DR
- Importation of breeding stock into the DR
- Construction of training room and toilets
- Phase 4 0%
Initial flock of breeding dairy goats of three breeds: Saanen Goats, Alpine Goats, and Nubian Goats. Our phase 1 goal is 20 females and 2 males. Our phase 2 goal is 100 females and 10 males.
Outcome 4 Activities
- Design of training facilities
- Procurement of materials and equipment
- Phase 5 0%
Phase 2 project will have basic facilities for training small groups (20-30 people), including meeting rooms with toilets; audio-visual equipment and management tools.
Outcome 5 Activities
- Training workshops to producers
- Procurement of the semen and embryo transfer equipment
- Training on semen/storage and embryo transfer technologies
- Phase 6 0%
Producers have received animals, training and technical assistance and are able to produce competitively.
Outcome 6 Activities
- Distribution of animals
- Technical assistance for producers
- Training topics will include the general context of livestock production in Dominican Republic, importance of breeding centers, breeding center care and characteristics, animal production techniques, animal health and wellbeing, forage management, business management, sales and marketing.
Frequently Asked Questions
Why the Dominican Republic?
What happens to my gift?
We will use your gift to buy materials, goats, and pay for labor.
Can I visit the goat farm in the Dominican Republic?
Yes. We will be hosting voluntourism trips in 2014.
Are you a for-profit or non-profit?
Both. We are a social enterprise.
Is this a Cubs Charity?
No. Not yet. We are working toward an agreement with the Chicago Cubs and MLB.
Want To Help?
With each donation, Reverse the Curse Micro helps hardworking families put food on the table and income in their pockets by providing resources like:
Micro Goats and nutrient rich vegetables
Farming tools and drought-resistant seeds
Training in the care and management of livestock and gardens
Business strategies on how to market goods (dairy products, fruit, vegetables, and more)
When combined, these resources help families sustainably lift themselves out of poverty and provide a promising future for their children.
Consider partnering with us today.
Sponsor A Goat Farm Project
Sponsor A Full Goat Farm
You’ll be recognized as the project sponsor and you’ll receive a detailed completion report when the project is complete. It’s a smart thing to do.