In May, students were surprised to observe a herd of goats munching on weeds and brush on the Saint Mary's campus. These industrious ruminants belong to alumna Terri Holleman Oyarzun '79 and her husband, Egon, whose business, Goats R Us based in Orinda, provides environmentally friendly vegetation management for sites ranging in size from backyards to huge ranches. A typical assignment might include clearing away fire hazards, eliminating unwanted plants like star thistle, and clearing creek beds for flood control, their task at Saint Mary's.
Goats R Us is a family affair, said Oyarzun, whose husband is from Chile and was running a similar operation in California when they met. Their oldest daughter, Laura, named the company; their son Zephyr, who has accompanied his family on jobs since infancy, graduated from Cal Poly and is taking the reins of the business. "This particular career choice is not only a job, it's a 24/7 lifestyle," Oyarzun said. "Whose day cannot be improved by the presence of goats?"