Perry Kuebel, left, and nephew Colten Kuebel and niece Carlie Kuebel show some of the family’s dairy goats. The Kuebel clan has raised Angoras for decades and now have added dairy goats for more income. Photo by Kay Kuebel
By Perry Kuebel
Published July 2014
The Kuebel family’s love for raising goats began decades ago when Fritz Kuebel, Sr., and his son, Junior, raised goats along the Blanco River about 12 miles west of the small Hill Country town of the same name. Fritz Kuebel, Jr., purchased his first registered Angoras after returning from the Army in 1958. He started with 40 head of old Angoras he obtained from Mr. Bernard Fuchs of Cypress Mill. He has worked hard to improve the herd ever since.
Still living along the river but just 4 miles west of Blanco, the Kuebels are known for their fine haired Angoras. Over the years Fritz has received numerous awards, often having high selling bucks at sales such as the annual Texas Angora Goat Raisers Association sale.
With the help of his wife, Hazel, and children, Cecilia, Mark, Perry Ann, and Larry, the tradition carries on. Perry is in charge of kidding season and getting Fritz to meetings, shows, and sales. Her boyfriend, Walter, and brother, Mark, do most of the hard manly labor on weekends. Everyone helps out, especially when it comes to bottling cute goat kids, the grand-kids’ favorite job. And, if there’s anyone who can save a goat or any other animal for that matter it’s Grandma Hazel.
At the age of 80 and handicapped from years of hard work and a few accidents, Fritz is still in charge of the ranching. He is there to watch every goat get sheared, and will still do the actual drenching of each goat as needed. He continues to enter and sell registered Angoras at the annual TAGRA event each July in Junction. As active members of the Texas Sheep and Goat Raisers Association, the 2014 District 8 meeting/social/meal was hosted at the Kuebel property and Fritz and family fed fellow TSGRA members a cabrito and lamb barbecue.
As for the mohair market, Fritz couldn’t be happier. After many years of low prices it was June of this year that he received the highest prices in history. Trading with Seco Mayfield at the warehouse in Sonora, the hair is graded and sold for top dollar. Second shearing kid hair brought $11.22 and adult hair from $4.50-$7.30 per pound. At times like this the Kuebels wish they had more land and more goats along with answered prayers for rain.
Their business, Kuebel Family Generations, is “Fresh from the farm hand crafted goat milk soap and products with purpose.”
A couple years back Hazel and Perry purchased one Nubian nanny, “Sue,” who is on the product label. Initially her milk provided for family consumption and to help raise those occasional dogie kids and lambs. She was such a joy that two more milk goats, “Violet” and “Daisy,” were purchased. Since then one other nanny, “Miss Lucy,” from Sue, has been kept to build the milking herd.
Just four good goat girls can provide a lot of milk! Hazel is the head milk-maid, hand milking each nanny morning and evening for much of the year. Her mother, Lavonia, age 97, drinks a quart a day, which is proof of the excellent nourishment provided by this almost magic liquid. The rest of the family enjoys fresh milk, cheese, and especially homemade ice cream that’s about as good as it gets.
As any farmer or rancher knows, times can be tough. Perry decided that with just two years remaining before retiring from her teaching career from Blanco ISD it was time to diversify on the ranch. Since family and animals are her true passion, it seemed to make sense to combine the two. The plan for creating and selling old fashioned artisan type products was underway.
Using a cold process method Perry and her mother create beautiful all natural goat milk soap bars. Made similar to our ancestors’ old lard and lye soap, the new improved recipe is much more pleasant to use. With the addition of skin nourishing goat milk, shea butter, coconut oil, olive oil, and essential/fragrance oils, skin is left clean and moisturized.
Truly hand crafted in every way—from the milking, measuring, mixing, pouring, cutting, drying, and packaging—the end result is a quality product that is a labor of love. These hard working country women believe the six-week process is well worth the effort.
Soap was their first completed product and proved to be well received by family, friends, and customers. Hand crocheted 100 percent cotton washcloths were soon added to the product line and offered for sets. Then it was hand-cut cedar soap decks, which keep the long lasting soap dry and lasting even longer. It wasn’t long before fresh goat’s milk lotions and thick cream body butters were created. With more than a dozen scents, and an all-natural for those sensitive to fragrance, there’s something to satisfy people of all ages.
A couple more great products are the shaving sets and laundry soap. The soap with added shea butter and aloe vera is poured into a hand dipped ceramic bowl and packaged handsomely with an all-natural boar bristle brush. This set may well last a man a year or longer as there just isn’t any waste. The cleverly packaged laundry soap with wood scoop is made from finely grated bar soap, Arm and Hammer Washing Soda, and Twenty Mule Team Borax. Just one scoop from the 3-pound bag results in 48 loads of soft clean country fresh scented wash.
Other items that are hand crafted but do not contain milk are several lip balms and butter balms which are fantastic for dry rough hands, feet, elbows or anywhere extra care is needed. Made with natural bees wax, cocoa butter, and coconut oil, the product helps to sooth and seal in moisture.
While the entire Kuebel family uses the Generations products, it is primarily Perry and Hazel who do the work. This summer will be spent hand crafting and restocking products. They are now in the position to offer wholesale products to qualified buyers as they continue to expand the family owned business.
A website, KuebelFamilyGenerations.com, was recently launched where you can find more information about the products, order online, and find retailers who carry the products on their shelves. If computers aren’t your thing call Perry (830) 385-2488 or write to 405 Home Place Lane, Blanco, TX 78606, for more information.