Bear Cubs catcher chasin’ success

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Courtesy of Chase Cianfichi

SRJC student Chase Cianfichi balances his time between the Bear Cubs baseball team and running a goat grazing company that helps farmers rid land of ivy, poison oak and star thistle.

Anthony Sosa , Sports Editor

Playing for a sports team at the collegiate level takes an immense amount of time, hard work and dedication. Similarly, running your own business takes a tremendous amount of devotion. Sophomore Chase Cianfichi, 20, does both.

The Santa Rosa Junior College Bear Cubs’ catcher started playing baseball at age 5.  Out on the diamond, Cianfichi focuses on helping his team make a championship run. Off the field, he runs his own goat grazing company, Chasin’ Goat Grazing.

What exactly is goat grazing?

“You have someone with a piece of land or in some cases ranches that are overgrown with ivy, poison oak, or star thistle that is overtaking the grass. You then bring in the goats and they graze the land,” Cianfichi said.

Cianfichi explained that the goats eat the star thistle on ranches, which allows the grass to grow back stronger. For residential areas, the goats clear anything edible.

He participated in both 4-H and the Future Farmers of America in high school. He received goats from a friend after working for her family.

“I didn’t know what to do with them [the goats] at first,” he said. “So I was going to feed them up and sell them.”

Cianfichi looked for a way to feed the goats without purchasing feed. He and his father brainstormed ideas and thought of goat grazing. “I made some flyers, talked to some people and started collecting goats,” he said.

Thus Cianfichi’s “Chasin’ Goat Grazing” business was born.

“I said gosh, how entrepreneurial,” said SRJC baseball assistant coach Tom Francois after hearing about Cianfichi’s business. “He’s not selling lemonade on the corner or hot dogs. He’s got goats.”

Cianfichi, just five months into his business, already turns a profit from his 22 goats. He charges $2 per goat for a day’s worth of work for a total of $44 a day.

Five customers are currently involved with Cianfichi’s business. He also talked to SRJC about using his goats to graze the Shone Farm campus.

“Less than half of these young men [players on the SRJC baseball team] will go to pro ball,” Francois said. “To have your own business at this age, and to realize that your future in this game is limited; I think that’s a reality check. I think it’s smart to have something in your back pocket for the future.”

On the baseball field Cianfichi works hard at earning as much playing time as possible as a catcher.  “There’s nobody on the field that works harder than him, except maybe [head coach] Damon,” Francois said.

Cianfichi’s baseball career after SRJC is still unknown. As for his business, Cianfichi focuses on the future. “Right now it’s [the business] not at the volume it needs to be, but it’s a work in progress,” Cianfichi said. “I think it’s going to be successful.”

Along with expanding his business, Cianfichi plans to transfer to Fresno State University or California State University, Chico. Animal science is his intended field of study.

Within the next year, Cianfichi plans to own 1,000 goats. He credited his hard work to his friends and family. Cianfichi’s business’ future is still unclear, but with continued hard work, success is just a few goats away.