From the archive: Spilled milk

“Hello girls!” At five in the morning while the snow blows heavily, it’s still completely quiet in the small village of Arabygdi. But as farmer Hege Gonsholt enters the barn, she is greeted with happy bleating and bells ringing. Inside over hundred goats eagerly wait to be milked. While sheep and cows eat grass, goats eat bushes and thrive in steep cliffs and challenging landscapes. For over six thousand years goats have helped Norwegian farmers to live off land that is hard to cultivate. It is a small industry but still there are 294 goat farms in Norway.
At 800 metres above sea level, the Gonsholt family cannot grow neither vegetables nor grains. But their foresty hills are perfect for goats, and Gonsholt’s farm has been in the family since the 19th century. But now her oldest son who is eager to take over when he becomes an adult might miss his chance: The Norwegian parliament proposes changes for Norwegian food production. These include reducing subsidies to small farms off the beaten track, and no longer accepting goat milk deliveries to the state owned dariy company “Tine”. In the utmost sense, this means some of the smallest farms might have to close down.

Photographed for Klassekampen, February 2017.