Granja Rivas (Rivas Farm) is a local provider of Boer goat meat. Tony Rivas and his father Jorge provide what they confidently call “The best meat in America.”

Boer goats are known for the quality of their meat. The Boer breed, noted as possibly the best goats for meat throughout the world, originated in South Africa. It is a generally healthy breed with great reproductive qualities.

Boer goats tend to be large and muscular. They have drooping pendulous ears and medium-sized horns. A full-grown male can weigh more than 200 pounds. These goats generally are white with brown heads, although sometimes they are totally one color.

At Granja Rivas the entire animal is sold to each customer. The buyer, though, may choose to take the processed animal whole, such as for a pit barbeque or have it butchered into cuts. Generally, customers choose to have the carcass cut into manageable-size pieces.

Goat meat is the original meat for birria tacos, although beef is a common alternative. Birria is a distinctive Mexican dish from Jalisco cuisine. The technique requires a long, slow cooking of meat chunks.

Birria is a braised meat simmered in a pot, as opposed to barbacoa which is a beef dish usually cooked in a pit barbeque. Served birria incorporates the juices from the stewing process.

Birria recipes vary according to each cook’s taste. Reconstituted dried red chilis that produce a red sauce always are a necessary ingredient. Onion, garlic, marjoram, oregano, cumin are some of the many common seasonings that might be added. Vinegar often is incorporated to diminish the strong flavor.

 To make traditional birria tacos, fill tortillas with seasoned shredded meat that has been slow cooked. Melting cheese, onions, cilantro may be added. The filled tortillas are dipped in the red sauce from the cooked meat. These are heated on a grill. The grilled tacos are eaten by dipping them in more of the red sauce.

Raising Boer goats with his father is only one of Tony’s skills. His regular job is driving a forklift. He also raises prize chickens and has a part time business selling locally grown and locally sourced packaged foods.

Tony enjoys getting to know people while providing high quality delights. He sets up his tasty foods mini shop in places where folks gather or are likely to pass by.

Tony offers natural and gourmet food items. He obtains a variety of packaged foods from J V Products, 150 West G Street, Los Banos. He sells organic raw honey from Emilio Rodriguez.

The Country Duck in Los Banos sources fruit syrups with the taste of ripened fruit. Peach syrup is produced in Georgia and has a sweet fresh peach flavor.

Buy products from Tony to keep on hand for creating unique tasty charcuterie boards. To preferred cheeses and crackers add dried fruits such as mango, pineapple, and cantaloupe. Pistachios are spiced with chili or not. Cracked walnuts complement the dried fruits but also are handy for baking.

Tony varies his inventory to “change it up” for customers. Jerky and pistachios come in an assortment of flavors. Chili-jalapeno, tequila, habanero, and fiesta mix are some of the choices.

Find Tony regularly at the Dos Palos Thursday Street Fair. On Thursdays, local vendors sell their wares in the parking lot at El Tarasco Bravo, 1645 Center Avenue, Dos Palos.

Sometimes Tony sets up and waits for customers at his cousin’s Rivas Feed Store, 1515 Golden Gate Avenue, in Dos Palos. Jose Rivas at the feed store reminds us that he constantly is increasing the inventory and provides feeds locally at competitive prices for pets and livestock.

Granja Rivas was established in the Dos Palos area about eight years ago. Quality is a family standard for everything they do. Family members enjoy meeting locals and appreciate everyone who buys their products.

The Rivas family is busy feeding folks and fowl and other animals locally. They proclaim, “Hablamos Espanol.” They speak English as well. For more information about goats or Tony’s natural foods call (209) 704-1099.

Janet Miller

Janet Miller is a freelance writer specializing in family faith. She offers Family Prayers and Activities: Weekly Guides on compact disc for families to explore the Bible together. Email