THE COMBINED talents of a self-confessed American 'city girl' and a Ceredigion farmer have created a thriving business at Brynhoffnant.

The Chuckling Goat launched in 2014 when Texan former radio talk show host Shann Nix-Jones joined forces with farmer Richard Jones, whose cultural roots are immersed deep in his 25-acre farm, to produce kefir from goat milk.

The company is now a thriving enterprise with customers across the globe, yet sustainability and development in harmony with the land and the environment lie at the heart of the company's operation.

The Joneses are proud of the fact that the building where the kefir is produced is sunk into the ground and surrounded by more than 2,000 trees.

"Shann always says it's like the circle of life," said Richard.

"The goats produce the muck, the muck goes on the fields, the fields then are harvested for hay and the goats eat the hay."

Richard and Shann had decided to keep a goat as they felt that its raw milk might help relieve their son's bronchial illness, but soon realised they had excess milk each day.

"I kept thinking, we've got goats. How can we use the goats' milk? Where is the opportunity there? recalled Shann.

Her 'Eureka moment' came when she heard a Russian doctor talking about goat's milk kefir and its therapeutic qualities on the radio.

Kefir is a cultured, fermented milk drink, similar to yoghurt but thinner in consistency. It is also a good source of calcium and is rich in probiotic bacteria essential for gut health.

Within five years we had a massive increase in turnover," recounted Richard. "I employ 24 staff here now.

"Farming-wise I think we are very sustainable because we're doing it in as old-fashioned a way that we can."

The company puts an emphasis on employing family and local people.

On busy weeks they now process up to 10,000 litres of goat's milk shipped in each week by tanker.