Perspectives - Fall 2018 - 32

Chatting about Yaks with
Dr. Rob Williams
BY ELIJAH SANTOS

A

s a follow-up to the piece in the
summer 2018 issue of Perspectives entitled "The Adaptable Yak,"
we're featuring a short conversation
with Dr. Rob Williams. Dr. Williams
is one of the leading researchers
and voices behind bringing yaks to
Vermont and the Northeast. He is
a Vermont-based educator, media
and communications expert, historian, journalist, musician, yakker,
and a leading member of the Second Vermont Republic movement.
In addition to his day jobs at Champlain College and the University of
Vermont (UVM), Rob also runs the
YakItToMe! food cart, which serves
up yak-based provisions at events all
over Vermont.
ES: How did you first became interested in yaks?
RW: I sampled yak meat in Montana
in 2007. Delicious! The rest is
history.
ES: Besides meat, what are other uses
for yak byproducts?
RW: Milk, hides, tents, ropes-think

32

Perspectives Magazine

phoenixfeeds.net

of the yak like the bison for the
Plains Indians-varied uses!
ES: Tell our readers a little about your
personal experiences raising yaks and
incorporating their meat into a small
business: your food cart featuring dishes made with yak meat.
RW: We raised yaks on a farm in Mad
River Valley for 7 years, and I've
been running our YakItToMe! food
cart since 2013. I've been fortunate to work with yaks in a variety of
ways-they are amazing creatures.
ES: What about the yak's suitability to
the Vermont landscape?
RW: Yaks love good grass, rolling
hills and mountains, and cold weather. Vermont is ideal!
ES: Do you believe that yaks offer benefits over traditional beef?
RW: Absolutely. Yaks are the planet's
greenest red meat = more protein and
omega 3s and less fat than any other
beef. Yaks also consume less grass
per acre than any other bovine.

ES: Does yak milk offer a potential
supplement or alternative to the conventional dairy industry in Vermont and
the Northeast?
RW: Hmm. Probably not. Yaks are ornery, and harnessing them for a new
milk industry seems impractical.
ES: How much does it cost and how
difficult is it to raise yaks compared to
conventional beef?
RW: Yaks are affordable ($600-
$800 for a steer or cow, and between
$2000 and $4000 for a bull in his
prime) though scarce in the U.S.,
and yaks are slow growers-it takes
3 years (almost) to bring a yak to
maturity and to market. So, raising
yaks is not as profitable as raising
grain-fed conventional beef (speaking from a capitalist point of view).
On the flip side, yaks require no special fencing, do not need barns or
buildings to survive and thrive, and
are incredibly hearty in a challenging
landscape.


http://www.phoenixfeeds.net

Perspectives - Fall 2018

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Perspectives - Fall 2018

Contents
Perspectives - Fall 2018 - Cover1
Perspectives - Fall 2018 - Cover2
Perspectives - Fall 2018 - Contents
Perspectives - Fall 2018 - 4
Perspectives - Fall 2018 - 5
Perspectives - Fall 2018 - 6
Perspectives - Fall 2018 - 7
Perspectives - Fall 2018 - 8
Perspectives - Fall 2018 - 9
Perspectives - Fall 2018 - 10
Perspectives - Fall 2018 - 11
Perspectives - Fall 2018 - 12
Perspectives - Fall 2018 - 13
Perspectives - Fall 2018 - 14
Perspectives - Fall 2018 - 15
Perspectives - Fall 2018 - 16
Perspectives - Fall 2018 - 17
Perspectives - Fall 2018 - 18
Perspectives - Fall 2018 - 19
Perspectives - Fall 2018 - 20
Perspectives - Fall 2018 - 21
Perspectives - Fall 2018 - 22
Perspectives - Fall 2018 - 23
Perspectives - Fall 2018 - 24
Perspectives - Fall 2018 - 25
Perspectives - Fall 2018 - 26
Perspectives - Fall 2018 - 27
Perspectives - Fall 2018 - 28
Perspectives - Fall 2018 - 29
Perspectives - Fall 2018 - 30
Perspectives - Fall 2018 - 31
Perspectives - Fall 2018 - 32
Perspectives - Fall 2018 - 33
Perspectives - Fall 2018 - 34
Perspectives - Fall 2018 - 35
Perspectives - Fall 2018 - 36
Perspectives - Fall 2018 - 37
Perspectives - Fall 2018 - 38
Perspectives - Fall 2018 - 39
Perspectives - Fall 2018 - Cover4
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/retromotion/perspectives_2018fall
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/retromotion/perspectives_2018summer
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/retromotion/perspectives_2018spring
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/retromotion/perspectives_2018winter
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/retromotion/perspectives_2017fall
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/retromotion/perspectives_2017summer
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/retromotion/perspectives_2017spring
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/retromotion/perspectives_2017winter
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/retromotion/perspectives_2016fall
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/retromotion/perspectives_2016summer
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/retromotion/perspectives_2016spring
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/retromotion/perspectives_2016winter
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/retromotion/perspectives_2015fall
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/retromotion/perspectives_2015summer
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/retromotion/perspectives_2015spring
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/retromotion/perspectives_2015winter
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/retromotion/perspectives_2014fall
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/retromotion/perspectives_2014summer
https://www.nxtbookmedia.com