Leon Hay has over 800 workers under him. They are diligent, providing consistent results each and every day. Better still, all of them know their place, and drama is unheard of in Leon’s well-managed workplace.
Sounds like a dream job?
It could be yours too, but only if you’re a goat!
Leon is the second-generation owner of Hay Dairies Goat Farm, the only goat farm in Singapore. Despite being an accountant by training, Leon left the banking world after a couple of years in order to continue his family business. Dealing with goats might be a refreshing change to the politics of the corporate world, but persisting in the agricultural industry is certainly no easy feat.
In Singapore, land is always an issue, and the current farm compound has to move out by 2021. The new land available for them is completely barren, and immense amounts of money and time will be needed to re-build the farm from scratch.
Amidst the red tape and bureaucracy, Leon still has to go about the day-to-day activities of overseeing the operations of a goat farm. A day in Leon’s life involves caring for the goats, feeding baby goats, overseeing milking and production, and general maintenance.
Leon acknowledges that being a farmer is tough work. There is no fixed schedule, and you have to be on-call 24/7. After all, the birth and delivery of new kids (baby goats are called kids!) don’t follow a timetable. Whenever a female goat is having difficulties delivering, Leon has to be there to assist with the birth, no matter what the time is.
Despite the hardship, Leon is motivated by the knowledge that his product is useful and has benefitted many. Goat’s milk is more similar to a mother’s breast milk than cow milk is, making it a preferred substitute for many individuals who do not consume cow’s milk due to various medical conditions.
Leon might be a goat farmer, but his heart is ultimately for people. Knowing that his product is often a need rather than a want, the team has done their best to keep prices low over the years. In fact, they have only raised their prices by $1 in the past 30 years!
Agriculture might be a waning industry in Singapore, but under Leon’s guidance and persistence, it looks like Hay Dairies is here to stay!