Goats used to control weeds: not a baaaad idea

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More than 100 hungry goats were let loose Friday to chow down on the grounds of the Pine Bend Refinery in Rosemount, reports the Pioneer Press.

Flint Hills Resources, which runs the refinery, has a strong appetite for cleaning up brush in an environmentally friendly fashion, reports the paper. That's why the company partnered with Great River Greening to bring in the animals.

The goats will spend about two weeks eating through five acres of wildlife to clear pervasive weeds and stomp down the seeds of native plants with their hooves, the PiPress says.

Great River tried cutting down the weeds a few years ago the old fashioned way, but it's expensive, and the invasive plants, particularly the hardy buckthorn plants, came back.

Using goats as an environmentally friendly alternative to chemicals or gasoline-powered machinery has caught on across the country.

They've been brought in to eat brush at O'Hare Airport, reports Fox 32 News in Chicago, and to chow down on poison ivy at a recreation center in Sandy Hook, N.J. Fox 5 News in New York reports.

USA Today has a slick infographic that highlights why using goats as weed killers isn't a baaad idea environmentally...and economically.

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