Mark Spitznagel

goat7A few weeks ago, the hedge fund manager Mark Spitznagel was walking through a wooded area on his 200-acre farm in Northport, Michigan, shouting at goats. “A droite! A droite!” he called, urging the animals to return to a path from which they had strayed in order to nibble on the surrounding brush. When Spitznagel was first launching his goat cheese farm, called Idyll Farms, around 2012, he hired consultants from France– but of course– to come to Michigan and help train him and his staff, and the goats have grown used to hearing commands in French. “A droite! A droite!” Spitznagel shouts, tapping on the ground with a long, hooked walking stick he sometimes uses to gently prod the animals….They seem intelligent, I said to Spitznagel. “They’re herd animals,” he responded. “They’re as smart as any investment manager out there.” [Worth]

  • 06 Jun 2014 at 11:51 AM

Hedge Fund Manager Puts Goats To Work

Mark Spitznagel, the founder of the $6 billion hedge fund Universa Investments, on Thursday brought 20 billy goats to graze among abandoned homes and general detritus in Brightmoor, one of Detroit’s most blighted neighborhoods. Not to be outdone by JPMorgan Chase, the country’s biggest bank, which recently pledged to invest $100 million to help Detroit over the next five years, Mr. Spitznagel says he is contributing directly to the community. “It’s an urban farming experiment,” he said of his plan to leave his goats to roam and munch on overgrown grass. “Goats are an effective way to do landscaping,” he added…Mr. Spitznagel will enlist the help of the community — paying previously unemployed adults and enlisting the help of local youths to herd the baby goats — and he plans to build portable housing for the goats in addition to pens and electric fencing. At the end of the summer, Mr. Spitznagel said, he will sell the goats to Detroit butchers and give the proceeds back to the community. [Dealbook]