Imagine a work force that never calls in sick, doesn't
complain, and knows from birth how the job should be done. Ecosystem
Concepts Inc. of Dixon, Calif., has thousands of these efficient
workers. There is a downside--the employees aren't potty trained, and
they know only one word: "Maaa."
Yes, Ecosystem Concepts owns goats, and it
uses its masticating herds to clear the weeds, grasses, and low tree
branches that fuel California's pervasive brushfires.
In a day, 400 goats can munch one acre clean for between $750 and $1,500.
Unlike humans, goats don't suffer from poison oak, and they eat up to
5% of their body mass each day, says Brea McGrew, the veterinarian
who has run Ecosystem Concepts since 1991.
Francisco Business Times:
"Ecosystems' Brea McGrew, a Dixon-based veterinarian,
and her husband, Robert, a fireman with Sacramento
Metro Fire Department..."
January 2002 Vetcentric
"Ecosystem Concepts Inc. has been around for more than a
dozen years. Dr. McGrew and her husband, a firefighter..."
October 2001 Smithsonian
"...certainly among the pioneers were Brea McGrew,
a veterinarian, and her husband, Robert, a fireman,
whose four-footed weed eaters have been at it since 1991."
June 1998 Los Altos Town
Crier (article no longer online):
"The County Fire District hired Ecosystem Concepts, Inc.,
a Davis-based company, to provide the goats. Dr. Brea McGrew,
a veterinarian, and her husband Robert McGrew, a certified California
firefighter, own the business, which specializes in using animals to
clear undesirable vegetation..."
May 1997 San
Francisco Chronicle (article no longer online):
"This year....He contacted Brea and Robert McGrew, co-owners
of Ecosystem Concepts Inc..."