Diana Harter

Keysight’s lesser-known sustainability secret: Goats!

Blog Post created by Diana Harter Employee on Aug 7, 2018

 

In my short time with Keysight at Santa Rosa, I’ve been amazed by its attention to sustainable environmental practices. Signs dot the lawn indicating “Recycled (non-potable) water used here.” Solar panels cover a huge portion of the employee parking. Three acres to be exact. Vegetable gardens located near the office buildings are cultivated by employees. Compost trash is collected in the employee breaks areas.

 

During an employee 5K walk on the 200-acre property, I discovered that half of the landscape is covered with native trees and grasses on rolling hills in their natural habitat. And, Keysight has a recycling center on its property!

 

With all these sustainable amenities in place, I should not have been surprised by some unusual practices too.

 

Walking out of the office one late afternoon I heard an unusual sound: hundreds of goats grazing near the parking lot! Not what I was expecting when I left for the day. Later that week the goats appeared again, only this time they grazed closer to the office buildings and near the vegetable gardens. Employees interacted with the goats by taking pictures and even petting the young kids.

 

As I watched, I could see that goats were effective in clearing the dried grass surrounding the property, and I wondered if they were doing more for the health of the landscape? I contacted Tricia Burt, Keysight’s site manager, to find out more about the goat herd. Tricia informed me that Keysight used goat and sheep herds annually to maintain the fire breaks around the property. Keysight started using herds nine years ago. Goats are preferred as they eat invasive plants, like Scotch Broom, and lower tree limbs which keep the landscape maintained to code levels. Tricia said that locals informed Keysight that areas where the goats had grazed the grass and underbrush last year were less impacted by the 2017 fires.

 

I was not in Santa Rosa during the fires, but I still see the environmental and emotional impact left behind. So, while these goats have been entertaining to watch, they also play a crucial role in maintaining the natural landscape. And in a sustainable way that does not interrupt the natural habitat surrounding Keysight Santa Rosa.

What are some surprising sustainability practices that your company has done?

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