Hellen Waruguru’s journey from losing her job to establishing a thriving goat milk venture is nothing short of inspirational. Raised in a big family in Kirinyaga, Hellen developed a passion for farming while working alongside her father on their family’s farm. Little did she know that this small investment would pave the way for a generational skill upon which she has built her comeback venture.
This article delves into Hellen’s incredible journey, highlighting her resilience, passion for farming, and her unwavering determination to turn her setbacks into opportunities.
A Seed of Interest Sown in Childhood
Growing up in Kirinyaga within a large family of girls, Hellen Waruguru developed a keen interest in farming while working alongside her father on their family farm during the ploughing season. She passionately recaps memorable instances where she operated the plough.
Little did she know that these early experiences would shape her future and ignite her entrepreneurial spirit.
From One Goat to a Growing Herd
In 2007, Hellen’s father decided to sell a portion of his flock. Unbeknownst to him, some of the goats were milk producers. Recognizing the potential, Hellen purchased five goats, setting the foundation for her journey into dairy farming.
A subsequent visit to Nyeri with a friend saw Hellen adding one more goat to her growing herd, not only for its beauty but also as a source of stress relief.
A Twist of Fate and the Birth of an Entrepreneur
As fate would have it, Hellen’s job as a court processor eventually came to an end. However, this setback served as a turning point in her life. A client’s request for a daily supply of 10 litres of milk presented an opportunity that Hellen could not ignore.
Determined to make the most of it, she focused on proper feeding practices for her goats, leading to a significant increase in milk production.
Trial, Error, and Rearing Skills Perfected
Hellen’s journey to success was not without its challenges. Through trial and error, she honed her rearing skills and developed a deep understanding of goat farming. Living in Rongai at the time, she continued to learn and adapt, setting the stage for the prosperous future that awaited her in the goat milk industry.
On Why Goat Milk Smells
One key lesson Hellen learned along the way was the importance of maintaining milk quality. Goat milk has a high amount of lactic acid, which can lead to an unpleasant smell if not stored properly. Hellen became vigilant about storing the milk at suitable temperatures below 38°C to preserve its flavour and aroma.
Additionally, Hellen discovered that does (female goats) can be affected by the odour of bucks, which can then be passed into the milk.
In a recent interview with Mt. Kenya TV, Hellen explains how she mitigates this by focusing on maintaining a clean and sanitary environment during the milking process, ensuring thorough cleaning of the udder with warm water and brushing the goat’s coat.
The Secrets of Selecting the Right Breeds
To ensure the success of her goat milk venture, Hellen carefully selected specific goat breeds. Among her chosen breeds are Toggenburger, Alpine goat (Kenyan Alpine, German Alpine), British Alpine, and French Alpine. Notably, the French Alpine breed produces the highest amount of milk, followed by the British Alpine and the German Alpine.
Furthermore, Alpine goats are known for their resilience in adapting to different climates and their high resistance to diseases, making them ideal for Hellen’s farming operation.
Resilience, Passion, and Success
Despite facing setbacks and challenges, she embraced every opportunity to learn, adapt, and grow. Her story is a shining example of how passion and determination can turn adversity into success in the agricultural sector.