Karen Tautges started Rapha Farms when her then 12-year-old daughter told her she wanted to be a goat farmer. Her daughter had survived a battle with brain cancer several years earlier and Karen wanted to fulfill her dreams, so she got a few a goats that led to the start of Rapha Farms in Independence, Minnesota. Their 25-acre farm makes goat milk soaps and lotions that help with skin conditions, and you can find their soaps and lotions in stores and farmers’ markets all around Minnesota.
Karen owns and operates Rapha Farms alongside her husband Dave and 7 other crew members. She milks the goats, makes the products, fulfills online orders, and much (much) more. Karen’s husband is a huge support to her. “Dave doesn’t like taking any of the credit, but I could not do this without him,” she says. Dave does just about anything Karen needs, including welding equipment for the farm. Her trusty crew helps with barn chores, sells at farmer’s markets, milks the goats, and more.
Rapha Farms is busy, but Karen wouldn’t have it any other way. “I enjoy the animals, I love new life in the spring, and I never grow tired of hearing how our soaps and lotions have healed a rash that would not go away,” she says.
Karen has a passion for helping people with skin issues and has put hours into creating her soap recipe. “It was a learning process with a few ruined batches,” she says, but she found the perfect recipe. Each bar has 4 ounces of goat milk, the key ingredient that makes these bars so incredible.
Besides creating products, Rapha Farms also opens its barn doors to customers who want to visit the goats. In the spring, people can feed them vegetable scraps and hold tiny new goats. Karen loves people and enjoys meeting her customers, whether that’s at farmer’s markets or right on the farm.
Rapha Farms puts special effort into treating their goats with as much respect as possible. After the mamas have finished milking, they spend the rest of the year just being goats. When the milking goats are too old and ready to retire, “they get to live out their days in our pasture,” Karen says.
As spring is making its way, you can find Rapha Farms at many farmer’s markets in central Minnesota!
Find Minnesota Grown skin care products near you in the Minnesota Grown Directory.