David Tomé cradlesone of his goats on his farm in Torrox. E. Cabezas
Meet the Malaga teenager who went viral for wanting to be a goat farmer
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Meet the Malaga teenager who went viral for wanting to be a goat farmer

David Tomé, a 17-year-old from Torrox, has had his own herd for a year now: "It's been my dream since I was a child"

Eugenio Cabezas


Friday, 5 April 2024, 16:41


At his age he ought to be studying or working in something related to tourism, as his parents do; his dad runs a sunbed business and his mum is a cook. But 17-year-old David Tomé González from Torrox has had "a dream and vocation" to be a goat farmer since he was a child, despite not having been raised among animals or having close relatives involved in goat farming. The teenager spoke to SUR surrounded by the ten goats of the Malaga breed that he already has on his small farm located very close to the old N-340 on the eastern Costa del Sol.

"I've been doing this since the end of 2022, but I've loved goats since I was little," said Tomé. "It's something I've been passionate about since I was a child; I preferred to go and see the goats rather than play in the park with my friends."

His elder brother Salva, like his parents, Salva and Toñi, also works in the tourism sector. Only one of his father's relatives, whom he never met, was a goatherd. Tomé and his vocation made the headlines recently after he uploaded a video to his Facebook account in which he told his story; it quickly went viral.

Not surprisingly his example has provided a real boost for local livestock farming, an area that is so short of young people to take over the profession; and it comes just as the industry is suffering from drought and low prices, leading to the recent protests.

Although, for the moment, his farm is a very small one, "for self-consumption", Tomé dreams of having a much larger herd in the coming years. To this end, he is already thinking of setting up another family farm in the area.

As to the huge reaction that his video and story have had, the young goat farmer admitted that he "never" imagined that it would have those consequences.

"I did it because I plucked up the courage to let people in Torrox, Spain and all over the world know that there are still young enthusiastic livestock farmers who want to make this their profession," said Tomé, for whom the protests of the farming sector in recent weeks "seem very good, because we have to talk and communicate".

In his opinion, they cannot "sell a litre of milk at prices that do not even pay the production costs, because behind a herd of goats there are many families, who get up early and watch over the health of these animals". Tomé acknowledged that it is "a very hard day-to-day job, but at the same time a beautiful one". For this reason, the Torrox teenager calls on politicians to "help the farming sector more, because it is essential".

"They should help young goat farmers because we are going to be in danger of extinction; it is a very tough job, you have to like it from the heart, as I do, but without help you can't achieve your dream and this beautiful profession is going to come to an end," said Tomé. The young farmer said his parents "at the beginning" asked him why he wanted to do that for a living and told him "to make do with one goat".

"I started with one, but look where I am now, I've got my own pen full," he said proudly, hugging one of the kids.

Although his family warned him that, for the moment, this only means "expense", Tomé considers it to be "his happiness".

"If you like goats, you can't be satisfied with just one, you have to have a herd; I enjoy looking after them," said the teenager.

"They told me to go on studying, but I don't like studying; I've realised that I like goats and I want to make them my profession," he said. His parents have now realised that it is "his vocation". "Everything is not based on money; money always comes and goes," he said.

At the end of 2022, Tomé had just three goats and now he keeps a dozen. "I like to see them grow from young to old, which is very beautiful," he said, preparing to milk one of the females he owns. "I milk them by hand, up to twice a day," he explained. "I have goat-farming friends who have given me good advice: 'keep going', they tell me; this is hard, but it's a nice job, a family can live off it well if you know how to manage it, but if you don't, it's true that you can eventually become unstuck," he pointed out.

Support from the mayor

Mayor of Torrox Óscar Medina showed his full support for David Tomé at a reception held recently at the town hall. In the simple and emotional act, which was also attended by first deputy mayor Paula Moreno and part of Tomé's family, the mayor offered the municipal administrative resources of the local agriculture department so that the youngster can fulfil his dream.

"This is your home," said Medina, after presenting David with a symbolic shepherd's crook.

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