TITUSVILLE, Fla. - Move over, John Deere. Goats - yes, goats - are tending to the grass at Imperial Estates Elementary School.
They’re rentals. They’ll be on the job site for a couple of weeks eating up all the grass they want.
The school district partnered with Rent-a-Ruminant, and for about $4,500, the team of goats will clean up the eastern slopes of the school grounds.
A ruminant is a goat or a cow, anything with an extra stomach.
Due to budget cuts, the Brevard County School System had to let go of some of its maintenance people.
At large schools, the grass is only cut when there’s about to be a big game.
And wait. Turtles? Yes.
The gopher tortoise, a protected species in Florida, makes its home on the side of the school. Traditional mowers could kill them.
The terrain at the school is steep. It's hard to cut the grass, but for goats, it's no problem.
"And it just goes to show you that our students in Brevard County have genius ideas," said Tina Descovich, the school board member who brought this proposal to the district.
Two kids gave her a presentation about the concept. She loved it.
"They hopped right out of their trailer, headed for the backfield," she said. "They got right to work. They were chowing away, eating everything they were supposed to eat and nothing they were not supposed to eat."
Right now, two other elementary schools in Brevard County are considering goats of their own.
In addition to the yardwork, the goats are good for morale.
Teachers and kids can come visit with them in between meals.
"They are therapy goats, see?" Descovich said, as she held a goat named Princess.