Regional Goat Production and Marketing Project

Final Report for ES04-075

Project Type: Professional Development Program
Funds awarded in 2004: $84,550.00
Projected End Date: 12/31/2008
Region: Southern
State: Kentucky
Principal Investigator:
Dr. Marion Simon
Kentucky State University
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Project Information

Abstract:

: The Regional Goat Production and Marketing Project with six (6) collaborative states provided professional and farmer training on sustainable goat production and marketing systems including forages, environmental aspects, economics, budgeting, marketing, business planning, parasite and disease management, production, breeds and breeding, and outreach to non-traditional producers and consumers. Multi-disciplinary expertise and educational materials were shared across the region. Three facilitated regional collaborators and advisory committee meetings were held which also involved training. The final meeting included a Goat Summit. Participants from collaborator and other states worked together to review, expand, and develop materials, and developed many multi-disciplinary and multi-university collaborative teams and efforts. Collaborators included Kentucky State University (outreach, economics, and animal science), University of Kentucky (animal science and agronomy), Fort Valley State University (animal science), Tennessee State University (animal science, weed science, and outreach), Prairie View A&M University (economics and outreach), and Florida A&M University (veterinary science), farmers and agents from the respective states.
Overall, the committee and advisory considered this a cost-effective project that brought states together to share resources and develop new collaborative efforts. The committee feels that these collaborative efforts should continue and expand throughout the region.

Project Objectives:

Providing education on sustainable goat production and marketing systems to agricultural professionals, paraprofessionals, non-profits, state and federal agencies, veterinarians, and farmer mentors, when combined with farmer listening forums to identify the research and educational needs for professionals and farmers, should result in these behavior changes.
OBJECTIVE 1. Agricultural professionals and paraprofessionals accept meat (and dairy goats) as sustainable farm enterprises for small farmers in the region. Upon accepting goats as a viable, sustainable enterprise, they will initiate farmer education and hands-on demonstration programs in their counties on sustainable goat production including feeds/forages, breeding programs, parasite control, environmental aspects, housing and economics. They will facilitate efforts to develop sustainable systems for goat production, marketing, and value-added goat products. They will facilitate efforts to develop farmer cooperatives, goat associations, marketing associations, and the potential markets for goats and goat products.
OBJECTIVE 2. Agricultural professionals and paraprofessionals target educational programs to nontraditional clientele. Because many goat producers and consumers are nontraditional including Middle Eastern, Hispanic, African American, women, youth (4-H and FFA), religious groups, small and limited-resource farmers, educational programs for consumers and producers, must include outreach and material targeting nontraditional clientele. In developing and delivering educational programs, the professional must become sensitive to social and environmental issues as well as the economic and production aspects of the goat industry. As a result, the professional strengthens his or her social and outreach skills leading to the inclusion of diverse groups in Extension programming.

OBJECTIVE 3. Agricultural professionals and farmers from across the Southern region will share expertise to develop multi-state, multidisciplinary teams (including 1890, 1862, and farmers).

Introduction:

Small and limited-resource farmers are looking for new and alternative farm enterprises to sustain their operations. Supported programs such as tobacco, peanuts and cotton are in jeopardy in the collaborative states. Each collaborative state has regions characterized by low income, low educational attainment and poverty. Together these situations create the need for: 1) alternative, sustainable farm enterprises that have low “start-up” and investment costs; 2) knowledgeable agricultural professionals, particularly County Extension Agents, Extension paraprofessionals, veterinarians, and farmer mentors, who can deliver educational programs to small, limited-resource farmers and diverse, non-traditional farmer clientele; and 3) low literacy educational materials and hands-on demonstrations and trainings. In addition to sustainable production systems, agricultural professionals working with these enterprises need to understand the existing and potential markets for the products. Possibly the major behavior changes for agricultural professionals are to accept goat enterprises for their sustainable, economic value to the region, and to expand their educational efforts to include diverse, non-traditional farmers who are producing goats, and non-traditional consumers who purchase the goats.
Goats are a rapidly growing small farm industry, but the research and educational support base for the industry needs to be strengthened. There is a need for educational information that includes climate and environmental concerns in addition to basic information on production systems, economics and marketing.

Cooperators

Click linked name(s) to expand
  • Kenneth Andries
  • Fitzroy Bullock
  • Nelson Daniels
  • Will Getz
  • Terry Gipson
  • Terry Hutchens
  • Ray Mobley
  • An Peischel
  • Louie Rivers, Jr.
  • Otto "Hank" Schweickart
  • Paul Sizemore

Education & Outreach Initiatives

Objective:
Description:

Methods

Methods included workshops, tours, field days, videos and publications, demonstrations, and regional collaborator and advisory committee meetings.

Outreach and Publications

Publications include:

Langston University's Web-Based Training and Certification Program for Meat Goat Producers

Kentucky's Web-based Sheep and Goat Modules

Kentucky State University's Goat Foot videos and Business Planning fact Sheets

Tennessee State University's Goat Production manual and Body Condition Scoring video

Outcomes and impacts:

There are many outcomes of the project. In addition to professional and producer education, the most positive outcomes for Behavior Change may be the following:

- The Southern Region Program Leaders Network – Agriculture and Natural Resources Program Directors (PLN-ANR) recognized goats to be a major emphasis for Extension in the South. They identified the need for County Agent proficiency in goat production and the need to work with this diverse small farm clientele. Kentucky took the lead in this initiative.

- The University of Kentucky developed a Goat and Sheep Advisory Council for Extension and Research; members include farmers, Berea College, UK, KSU, and Kentucky Department of Agriculture Professionals. They noted many key issues for goat producer-agent education in Kentucky.

- The Kentucky Agriculture Extension Advisory Council, the statewide advisory from farmers and agents from each of Kentucky’s 14 University of Kentucky Extension regions plus Kentucky State University recognized goats and goat producers (including diversity issues) as a primary emphasis for Extension and research in Kentucky.

- Overall, the Project committee and advisory considered this a cost-effective project that brought states together to share resources and develop new collaborative efforts. The committee feels that these collaborative efforts should continue and expand throughout the region.

Project Outcomes

Project outcomes:

Outline of the Programs Offered and Accomplishment Year and Institution

Kentucky State University and the University of Kentucky 2005 Accomplishments:

- This project funded Terry Hutchens, Extension Associate, University of Kentucky, assumed a 30% position at Kentucky State University.
a) Mr. Hutchens held seven (7) educational programs with Extension agents and producers.
b) Mr. Hutchens began a quarterly UK, KSU goat newsletter for Kentucky producers and Extension professionals and paraprofessionals as a continuing source of educational information, continuing indefinitely.
c) Mr. Hutchens and Mr. Schweickart (KSU) and Frank Cardenas (farmer) received a SARE On-farm Grant where they evaluated fencing systems, rotational grazing, and monitored fecal counts. The demonstration at the KSU Research Farm was observed by 550 participants during the 2005 Biennial Small Farm Field Day. This is a completed two-year project.
- A Beginning Farmer and 4-H Goat Hoof video/DVD was developed and produced by KSU (Dr. Andries, Simon, and Schweickart), UK (Dr. Sharko and Hutchens) and Ms. Caudill, Kentucky Department of Agriculture.
- An advanced Goat Foot disease video/DVD was developed by the above listed UK and KSU collaborated. Production is slated for 2009.
- A Goat Artificial Insemination video/DVD was produced by Dr. Chappell and Hutchens, UK.
- Mr. Sizemore, UK Extension Agent, and Mr. Hutchens developed a Fact Sheet on the renovation of tobacco barns for goat production facilities.
- A Goat Marketing video/DVD was developed by Ms. Caudill, Kentucky Department of Agriculture with Mr. Hutchens’ assistance.
- Mr. Sizemore, UK Extension Agent, attended the Langston University Annual Goat Field Day Training in May, 2005.
- UK and KSU developed Goat Enterprise Budgets.
- Drs. Ditsch and Hutchens, UK, and Dr. Andries received a SARE-R&E project on Goat Friendly Pastures. The research project on Sorghum and Sudan grass was at the UK Robinson Substation.
- KSU’s 2005 “Third Thursday Thing workshops on goats were held in March with 116 participants and October with 102 participants. The topics included marketing, forages, housing, foot care, and outreach. Presenters were from UK, KSU, Langston University, the KY Department of Agriculture, Prairie View A&M University, and farmers from Kentucky and Ohio.
- KSU’s 2005 Biennial Small farm Field Day had 550 participants from 13 southern states, the Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico.

Kentucky State University and the University of Kentucky 2006 Accomplishments

- Many of the 2005 initiatives are continuing.
- Drs. Andries (KSU), Sharko (UK), and Hutchens (UK) did 10 workshops on AI in goats for producers and continuing education for county agents.
- Drs. Sharko (UK), Andries (KSU), Hutchens (UK), UK County agents and producers initiated FAMACHA training for sustainable control of parasites in goats as joint efforts. These training programs are continuing.
- UK and KSU held numerous educational programs on goats for County Agents and goat producers.
- Dr. Ditsch, UK, began a two year research and education study at the UK Robinson Station on lespedeza to evaluate tannins for reducing parasites in goats.
- UK and KSU, Drs. Sharko, Andries, and Hutchens, and the Kentucky Department of Agriculture began an educational and regulatory vaccination program for CL.
- Dr. Ditsch (UK) and Mr. Sears (UK) developed a goat performance study at the UK Robinson Station called a “Goat Grazing Garden.” It is continuing.
- Dr. Sharko (UK), Andries (KSU), and Hutchens (UK), developed a two-year study on distillers grains for feed because of the availability of distiller’s grains.
- The 2006 KSU “Third Thursday” goat educational programs had 104 participants in March and 124 in October. Topics included basic production, kidding and kidding kits, marketing, direct markets, alternative goat products, feeds, forages and forbs, parasites, and hoof care.
- Dr. Andries, Dr. Simon, and Rivers (KSU) hosted a tour to the goat markets and producers in PA and a tour of the USDA-ACS Small Farm Research Unit in West Virginia. Emphasis was on marketing and consumer preferences. There were 40 participants.
- KSU hosted the second meeting of the Regional Goat Production and Marketing Project‘s collaborators and advisors in October of 2006 with 26 farmers and professionals from KSU, UK, Prairie View A&M University, Florida A&M University, Tennessee State University, and Langston University. Participants attended KSU’s “Third Thursday” program on goats, including marketing, consumer issues, and meat goat production.
a) Langston University introduced the “Web-Based Training and Certification Program for Meat goat Producers.” Twenty one professionals were involved in developing this program.
b) The clearing house of information was discussed.
c) Parasites, feed issues, and diseases were named as key issues for future collaborative work.
d) A lot of discussion involved about the diversity of goat producers and consumers and how to provide outreach to them.
- The 2006 KSU “Third Thursday” goat educational programs had 104 participants in March and 124 in October. Meat and dairy goats, USDA and State agency programs, marketing, and basic production were emphasized in the trainings.

- The Southern Region Program Leaders Network – Agriculture and Natural Resources Program Directors (PLN-ANR) recognized goats to be a major emphasis for Extension in the South. They identified the need for County Agent proficiency in goat production and the need to work with this diverse small farm clientele. Kentucky took the lead in this initiative.

- The University of Kentucky developed a Goat and Sheep Advisory Council for Extension and Research; members include farmers, Berea College, UK, KSU, and Kentucky Department of Agriculture Professionals. They noted many key issues for goat producer-agent education in Kentucky.

- The Kentucky Agriculture Extension Advisory Council, the statewide advisory from farmers and agents from each of Kentucky’s 14 UK Extension regions and KSU recognized goats and goat producers (including diversity issues) as a primary emphasis for Extension and research in Kentucky.

Kentucky State University and University of Kentucky 2007 Accomplishments:

- Many previous initiatives were continuing.
- Dr. Ditsch (UK) developed a co-grazing training with goats and cattle on a producer’s farm adjoining the UK Robinson Station. The goats benefited on the farm by eating the forbs and brush, the cattle protected the goats. Adding up to 25% goats to the cow herd did not reduce the cattle’s returns, and added income plus sustainable brush control.
- Because of the severe drought in the southeast, Drs. Ditsch (UK), Andries (KSU) and Hutchens (UK) initiated a fescue grazing project at the UK Robinson Station. The project evaluates controlled vs continuoud grazing and the goats are evaluated for growth and parasites.
- The 2007 KSU “Third Thursday” workshops on goats focused on economic, marketing, dairy, kidding, and the diversity of consumers, participation numbered 76 in March, 146 in July, and 78 in October. The KSU “10 Anniversary of the “Third Thursday Thing” and the Biennial Small Farm Field Day had 850 participants.
- Drs. Andries and Simon attended the Southern SAAS Small Ruminant Consortium in February.
- Dr. Ditsch (UK), Helwig (Berea College), and Andries (KSU), began an endophyte infected fescue study in Berea, KY and a kudzu grazing study in Whitley County, KY using Kinko and Kinko-cross goats.
- Dr. Andries, (KSU) and Helwig (Berea College) began
a) An electronic ear tag program for goats.
b) A two-year study on goat parasites on their respective Research Farms.
c) Dr Helwig (Berea College) shared her SARE R&E project results and manual at the March KSU “Third Thursday”.
- Dr Andries (KSU), Hutchens (UK) and farmers worked with the KY Department of Health to allow and expand goat dairies in the state.
- Dr. Henning (UK) and Simon (KSU) received a SARE PDP grant to develop a web-based sheep and goat education program for training Extension Agents via eXtension. UK and KSU agronomists, animal scientists, and agricultural economists are collaborating on this project.
- The Kentucky Sheep and Goat Advisory Council met to discuss research and extension needs in Kentucky. Participants included farmers, Berea College, UK, KSU, and the Department of Agriculture professionals.

Kentucky State University and the University of Kentucky 2008 Accomplishments:

- Dr. Andries, Simon, Rivers, and Skelton (KSU) conducted a tour and training in goat/pastured poultry through Tennessee, Arkansas and Missouri. Presentations included, production feeding, processing, breed types, specialty markets, and presentations by Heifer International and SARE. There were 89 participants.
- Drs. Andries and Simon (KSU) hosted a Goat Grazing workshop in May 2008 with Drs, Ditsch and Hutchens collaborating. There were 80 participants.
- Dr. Simon (KSU) developed three (3) Fact Sheets on business planning for goat producers.
- Dr. Andries (KSU) brought Spanish goats to the KSU Research and Demonstration Farm to offer new genetics for meat goat producers.
- KSU 2008 “Third Thursday: Goat workshops focused on business planning, dairy and meat goat presentations, FAMACHA and sustainable pasture management, and consumer issues. There were 83 in March, 110 in July and 102 in October. In November there was a special “Third Thursday” program on goats for beginning producers held in conjunction with the KSU Small, Limited-Resource Minority Farmers Conference to reach a more diverse group of producers. There were 107 participants.
- Under the direction of Drs. Simon, Andries, and Rivers, KSU hosted a Goat Symposium in October in cooperation with the Regional Goat Production and Marketing Project collaborators and advisory committee. There were 189 participants. Educational programs focused on business planning, forages, meat and dairy goat production. There were 30 county agents and paraprofessionals and 10 state specialists participating. The UK/KSU SARE-PDP Goat and Sheep Web-based Modules were introduced and evaluated. The following plans were made for needed collaborative efforts for UK and KSU:

1. UK will have a goat grazing demonstration at the landfill which is located at the Avon Military Installation in Clark County.
2. UK and KSU will develop a master grazing program for goat producers.
3. The UK-KSU SARE-PDP goat web-based education modules will be completed
4. Parasite work and sustainable parasite educational research and educational programs will continue.
5. There is a need for further research and education on warm season grasses, pastures, quality hays, and sustainable production under drought conditions.
6. There is a need for education on feeds stuffs, feed additives, hay, nutritional values of forage, hays, and distillers grains, and the evaluation of the costs of feeding hay and grain to goats.
7. There is a need for educational programs on selenium deficiency, vitamin E deficiencies, and diseases with an emphasis on pneumonia, listeria and coccidia.
8. There are doe and kidding concerns including the lack of milk, thick placentas, no colostrums, “too thick milk”, and Ca-Mg problems.
9. The USDA-ARS research station in WV is planning joint projects with UK and KSU.

Langston University’s Accomplishments

- Langston University’s 2006 Annual Goat Field Day was held on Saturday, April 29, 2006 at the Langston University Goat Farm. This year's theme was Organic Goat production. Presentations included: Grade A dairies, natural medicine, regulations, organic cheese-making, basic goat husbandry and herd health, nutrition, legal aspects, livestock guardian dogs, budgets, A.I., USDA-NRCS programs, USDA-FSA programs, and youth activities. There were 526 participants from AK, IL, KS, MI, OK, TN, TX, VI, and WI.
- Langston University’s Goat Field Day 2007 was held on Saturday, April 28, 2007 at the Langston University Goat Farm. That year's theme was Herd Health - Old, New, and Emerging Issues. Presentations included: Goat herd health procedures and prevention, biosecurity, diseases, nutrition, cheese-making, tanning goat hides for value-added, body condition scoring, managing external pests, internal parasite control, USDA-NRCS programs, USDA-FSA programs, DHI (dairy herd improvement program), and youth programs. There were 330 participants from AR, CA, ID, IL, IN, KS, MD, MO, NC, NV, OK, TX, WA, and Belize.
- Langston Goat Field Day 2008 was held on Saturday, April 26, 2008. This year's theme was Innovative and Traditional Goat Marketing. Presentations included: Nine Steps to Attract More Customers, the feed market situation and outlook, growing your business, livestock marketing, basic goat husbandry, basic herd health, budgeting, nutrition, how to prepare goat barbeque, internal parasite control, DHI training, USDA-NRCS, USDA-FSA, Oklahoma Dept. of Agriculture’s programs, body condition scoring, and youth programs. There were 356 participants from AR, IL, KS, KY, MD, MO, NM, OK, PA, and TX.
- Goat Management Workshops by Drs. Gipson, Hart, and the Langston University staff.

On 3/19/07, presentation on Selection of Breeding Stock and Traits to Consider at Wagoner, OK.
On 3/20/07, presentation on Selection of Breeding Stock and Traits to Consider at Idabel, OK.
On 3/21/07, presentation on Selection of Breeding Stock and Traits to Consider at Wewoka, OK.
On 3/22/07, presentation on Selection of Breeding Stock and Traits to Consider at Anadarko, OK.

On 6/11/07, presentation on Biosecurity and Herd Health at Wagoner, OK.
On 6/12/07, presentation on Biosecurity and Herd Health at Idabel, OK.
On 6/13/07, presentation on Biosecurity and Herd Health at Wewoka, OK.
On 6/14/07, presentation on Biosecurity and Herd Health at Anadarko, OK.

On 8/20/07, presentation on Reproduction, Genetics, and Acquisition of Breeding Stock at Wagoner, OK.
On 8/22/07, presentation on Reproduction, Genetics, and Acquisition of Breeding Stock at Idabel, OK.
On 8/29/07, presentation on Reproduction, Genetics, and Acquisition of Breeding Stock at Wewoka, OK.
On 8/31/07, presentation on Reproduction, Genetics, and Acquisition of Breeding Stock at Anadarko, OK.

- In 2006, a Langston University-led consortium of 11 universities and 5 meat goat producer groups developed an on-line training and certification program (http://www2.luresext.edu/training/qa.html). The program consists of 22 learning modules. Participants take pre- and post-tests to pass the 16 required and a minimum of 3 elective modules for certification. As of May 31, 2008, 638 participants had registered for the program and 64 had completed the requirements for certification.

- The 2005 first Regional Meat Goat Production and Marketing Project collaborators and advisory committee meeting was held at Langston University with 38 farmers and Extension agents, county and state professionals representing, Florida A&M University, Fort Valley State University, Prairie View A&M University Langston University, Kentucky State University and University of Kentucky. Presentations were given on dairy and meat goat production, goat dairies, goat ice cream, and Mr. Redhage, the Kerr Center, gave a presentation on SARE.
a) Dr. Gipson, Langston University gave a presentation on the planned Web-based Meat Goat Training and Certification Program.
b) Many issues were discussed. Feed, forages, parasites, and diseases were identified as needed educational areas.
c) Drs. Gipson (Langston) and Andries (KSU) agreed to develop a library/clearinghouse of information to be housed at Langston.
- Several Langston staff and regional farmers attended the 2005 Regional Goat production and Marketing Project’s collaborators and advisory committee meeting. Dr. Hart (Langston) and a farmer attended the 2006 meeting. Illness resulted in the last minute cancellation from the 2008 meeting.

Prairie View A&M University Accomplishments:

- Prairie View A&M University used its funds to extend its Annual Goat Research and Extension Field Day. There are approximately 150 producers, agents, and youth who attend the event annually. Dr. Daniels was accompanied by farmers to the 2006 and 2007 Regional Goat Production and Marketing project’s advisory committee and collaborator’s meeting. Dr. Daniels planned to attend the final meeting, but had a change of plans at the last minute due to his recent administrative responsibilities.

Florida A&M University Accomplishments:

- Florida A&M University has expanded its facilities goat research and extension programs and its veterinary technology programs. They initiated a Master Goat Herder Program that has about 100 participants annually. Two producers attended the 2006 and 2007 Regional Goat production and Marketing Project’s collaborators and advisory committee meetings. They had a lot of input from the producer’s viewpoint and the needs of small African American producer and women producers.
- Florida A&M University has convened a team of specialists and farmers to host a National Goat Conference in 2010. The team plans to submit a SARE-PDP project.
- Dr. Mobley (FAMU) presented at the 2007 and 2008 SunBelt Expo.

Tennessee State University Accomplishments:
- Dr. Peischel (TSU) attended, and presented at, the 2005 and subsequent International Goat Symposiums.
- Drs. Peischel and Bullock (TSU) initiated “Third Tuesday-Friday” Goat workshops which focused on comprehensive sustainable goat production systems including economics, extensive grazing systems, disease and parasite control, goat body condition, and production. There were 150 participants in 2005, 150 in 2006, 125 in 2007, and 25 in 2008.
- In 2006, Dr. Peischel (TSU) published a Goat Body Condition Scoring video/DVD.
- In 2007, Dr. Peischel (TSU) published a Goat Production Manual and DVD,
- Dr. Peischel (TSU) has Annual Regional Master Goat Programs in Tennessee’s three Extension regions. There were approximately 325 farmers and 30 agents participating annually. Topics included vegetative management, disease management, rotational grazing with sheep and goats, body condition scoring, and extensive grazing systems. From 2005 through 2008, the training programs numbered 1,300 farmer participants and 120 Extension agent participants.
- Dr. Bullock and the Tennessee Sate University staff initiated an Annual Small Farm Expo in 2005. There were 250 participants in 2005, 375 in 2006, 510 in 2007, and 350 in 2008.
- Tennessee State University had farmers and Extension staff attend the 2005 and 2006 Regional Goat Production and Marketing Project’s collaborators and advisory committee meetings. Unfortunately, their 2008 participation was cancelled due to last minute statewide Extension travel restrictions.

Fort Valley State University Accomplishments:

Fort Valley State University through its Cooperative Extension Program and the Georgia Small Ruminant Research and Extension Center provided the opportunity for new information on sustainable goat production systems to extension educators, state and federal agency personnel, small landowners and farmers, young farmer advisors to speak to their need for information, services and guidance in meat and dairy goat enterprises through this regional Project. Dr. Getz attended the 2005 Regional Goat Production and Marketing Project’s collaborators and advisory committee meetings. After his administrative responsibilities expanded, he participated via e-mail. He presented goat educational programs at the 2006, 2007, and 2008 SunBelt Expos.

Goal #1. Agricultural professionals will 1) accept goats as a sustainable enterprise, 2) agricultural professionals will initiate educational programs, 3) agricultural professionals will facilitate production and marketing efforts, and 4) agricultural professionals will facilitate cooperatives and development of associations.

- A total of 75 county extension agents, district ANR program coordinators, young farmer advisors and state and federal agency personnel have seen evidence of sustainable enterprises and have learned the factors involved in making those enterprises work. Training occurred at the statewide Extension Winter School, at New Agent Training, and at specially called clinics designed and geared toward those professionals during the duration of the project. Landowners wanting to pursue meat goat enterprises have approached FSA offices for financial assistance and NRCS for soil conservation strategies. Project personnel provided enterprise budgets and cash-flow projections.
- Producer meetings were held in 15 counties across the state providing information and guidance for 300 goat farmers and landowners. Meeting topics included feeds and feeding, budgeting and enterprise planning, breeds and crossbreeding systems, internal parasite and disease control, marketing plans and options, and forage-based grazing systems. Handout materials to be taken home and studied and used for later reference were provided on those topics and utilizing a vocabulary appropriate for each audience.
- Three newsletters were produced containing articles from Fort Valley State University research on breed characteristics and crossbreeding systems, forage options and grazing systems, stress reduction and meat quality, pre-harvest E. coli control, new cheese types and storage options, general disease prevention and health management.
- A Proceedings was made available to producers and Extension professionals based on a statewide conference on Commercial Production of Milk From Goats in Georgia.
- University extension specialists and local county agents were involved in developing a “new generation” marketing cooperative based in Washington County, Georgia. The cooperative has the capacity to harvest over 400 head per week.
- County agents and young farmer advisors now assist in coordinating educational and training efforts in four multi-county associations in various parts of the state.

Goal #2. Agricultural professionals and paraprofessionals will target non-traditional producers and consumers thus becoming more socially sensitive.

- The last year of the project, the Fort Valley State University Cooperative Extension Program held three listening sessions in primary service areas to determine program priorities and to assess needs. Among those invited to the sessions were many who would be considered non-traditional producers and consumers. The topic of assistance with new or existing goat enterprises was one that was addressed on more than one occasion.
- County agents participating in in-service training on the foundations of meat goat production and marketing were provided an orientation on the dictates of the faith and diet by a practicing Muslim who was an agricultural economics professional.

Goal #3. Agricultural professionals will become systems thinkers, initiate multi-state, multi-disciplinary programming and projects.

- A small group including a specialist, county agent and small farmer participated in a multi-disciplinary, multi-state meeting to review existing training and informational materials for the region and to plan for new materials and media.
- Subsequent collaboration with specialists and Extension professionals in other states including AL, TN, VA, and FL provided opportunities for Georgia Extension specialists to share technical information and training resources at producer meetings and Extension educator conferences across selected parts of the region.
- Systems thinking has been evident in demonstrations of:
a. Co-grazing cattle and goats, or sheep and goats for more efficient forage utilization and internal parasite management.
b. Soil-plant-livestock (goats) relationships in a silvopasture type of agroforestry.
c. Goat x cereal crop production systems utilizing growing small grains in winter pasture and grain in conditioning animals for market.

Future Plans include expanding collaborative efforts across the Southern Region. These topics were identified as critical areas.

1. There is a need for more sustainable parasite education and research will include expanding the collaborative Universities.
2. There is a need for further research and education on warm season grasses, pastures, quality hays, and sustainable production under drought conditions.
3. There is a need for further education and research on feeds stuffs, feed additives, hay, nutritional values of forage, hays, and distillers grains, and the evaluation of the costs of feeding hay and grain to goats.
4. There is a need for more business planning education for producers throughout the region.
5. There is a need for educational programs on selenium deficiency, vitamin E deficiencies, and diseases with an emphasis on pneumonia, listeria and coccidia.
6. There are research and education needs related to doe and kidding concerns including the lack of milk, thick placentas, no colostrums, “too thick milk”, and Ca-Mg problems. The group of collaborators needs to be expanded.
7. The USDA-ARS goat research station in WV is interested 9n collaborating.
8. new collaborators in the area of goat meat marketing need to be included.
9. There is now an official small ruminant, goat regional project in the Southern Region which has expanded the collaborating institutions.

Recommendations:

Potential Contributions

Future Plans include expanding collaborative efforts across the Southern Region.

Future Recommendations

Future Plans include expanding collaborative efforts across the Southern Region. These topics were identified as critical areas.

1. There is a need for more sustainable parasite education and research will include expanding the collaborative Universities.
2. There is a need for further research and education on warm season grasses, pastures, quality hays, and sustainable production under drought conditions.
3. There is a need for further education and research on feeds stuffs, feed additives, hay, nutritional values of forage, hays, and distillers grains, and the evaluation of the costs of feeding hay and grain to goats.
4. There is a need for more business planning education for producers throughout the region.
5. There is a need for educational programs on selenium deficiency, vitamin E deficiencies, and diseases with an emphasis on pneumonia, listeria and coccidia.
6. There are research and education needs related to doe and kidding concerns including the lack of milk, thick placentas, no colostrums, “too thick milk”, and Ca-Mg problems. The group of collaborators needs to be expanded.
7. The USDA-ARS goat research station in WV is interested in collaborating.
8. New collaborators in the area of goat meat marketing need to be included.
9. There is now an official small ruminant, goat regional project in the Southern Region which has expanded the collaborating institutions.

Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this publication are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the view of the U.S. Department of Agriculture or SARE.