Strengthening the Goat Industry: A National Goat Conference

Final Report for ES09-098

Project Type: Professional Development Program
Funds awarded in 2009: $80,000.00
Projected End Date: 12/31/2011
Region: Southern
State: Mississippi
Principal Investigator:
Angela McKenzie-Jakes
Florida A&M University
Expand All

Project Information

Abstract:

As mentioned in the 2011 report, the results of this project indicated that producers, agricultural professionals and students that attended the National Goat Conference in 2010 benefited from the educational research-based information presented at the conference. After the initial objectives were accomplished on this grant, Florida A&M University’s (FAMU) Small Ruminant Program integrated information (i.e., nutrition management, reproduction, herd health) from the 2010 conference into training activities for producers who were unable to attend this event. Additional training materials (i.e., training modules) were also developed to complement the information from the 2010 conference proceeding. These courses were held during FAMU’s annual Master Goat and Sheep Certification Program, the annual Master Farmer’s Program and aspects of the training materials (i.e., FAMACHA training, nutrition, herd health) were introduced to goat farmers in Haiti.

In addition, personnel from FAMU’s Small Ruminant Program developed an alliance between researches and extension personnel from several land grant institutions as well as governmental agencies and a community-based organization to form the National Goat Consortium (NGC). The purpose of NGC is to provide an avenue by which members of this organization can work together to address critical issues facing the goat industry (through research and educational activities) at the national level. The National Goat Conference is one of the activities the NGC host tri-annually.

To view exerts from the conference visit the site below http://www.youtube.com/user/SmallRuminant

Project Objectives:
  1. The overall objective of this project is to increase the number of educators community-based organizations [CBOs], private entities and non-governmental organization [NGOs]) and producers trained on accurate and relevant information on goat production and management to share with their clientele, students and other agricultural professionals.

    Create an avenue by which the committee members can share research-based information, share concerns, resources, technology and ideas to develop a national strategy and agenda to train current or future goat educators in effort to strengthen and enhance the goat industry in this country.

    Develop a national consortium of goat educators, federal and state agencies, NGOs, and CBOs to address critical issues facing the goat industry.

    Allow participants from the area of government an opportunity to become more aware of the significance of the industry and to share information about how they can support the industry (i.e., regulator issues, marketing issues).

    Encourage the trainees (i.e., extension agents, farm group-leaders) to share what they have learned from the conference with producers from their respective communities through training meetings, workshops, field days, conferences etc.

    Increase the number of producers adopting sustainable goat production practices on their farms to improve the sustainability and viability of their goat enterprises as the direct result of their extension agent’s, extension specialist’s or group leader’s participating in this conference and other training opportunities.

    Develop an evaluation instrument and survey to determine the impact of the trainee program on program participants.

    Develop a handbook [i.e., include a listing of each institutions resources such as websites, goat publications, research labs] and other training materials that can be used as a tool by the trainee to increase the access of reliable information available for goat producers.

Introduction:
The U.S. Goat Industy

Today, goat production continues to be one of the fastest growing industries in the U.S. Persistence among ethnic consumers in maintaining their religious or cultural practices has increased demand for goat meat. Because of demand, many small and limited resource producers are raising goats as an alternative source of income. However, producers in many cases still lack the necessary skills and knowledge to adequately produce quality meat goat products on a consistent basis to meet consumers demand while sustaining a profit. Furthermore with the influx of information on the internet and other sources many producers are often misinformed on the appropriate management practices and strategies for raising healthy productive animals.

Realizing these facts, FAMU collaborated with seven land grant institution, governmental agencies, and community-based organization (CBO) to host the first National Goat Conference of kind in 2010. This event was organized to train producers, agricultural professionals and students on goat production, management and marketing.

Cooperators

Click linked name(s) to expand
  • Willonese Adams
  • Edoe Agbodjan
  • Dr. Lee Anderson
  • Dr. Ken Andries
  • Dr. Jean Beaudouin
  • Susan Beddy
  • Dr. Lawrence Carter
  • Dr. Charlotte Clifford-Rathert
  • Eunice Cornelius
  • Dr. Joy Dixon
  • Marion Gibbons
  • Dr. Terry Gipson
  • Bobbie Golden
  • Lisa Gray
  • Helen Hill
  • Bob Hochmuth
  • Dr. Pamela Hunter
  • Dr. Dahlia Jackson-O'Brien
  • Dr. Jackie Johnson
  • Dave Keisling
  • Dr. Uford Madden
  • Dr. Steve Meredith
  • Damon Miller
  • Dr. Seyedmehdi Mobini
  • Dr. Ray Mobley
  • Dr. Nada Nadarajah
  • Dr. Ralph Noble
  • Godfrey Nurse
  • Dr. Oghenekome Onokpise
  • Dr. An Peischel
  • Dr. Eric Peterson
  • Dr. Gregory Reed
  • Louie Rivers
  • Dr. Marion Simon
  • Dr. Sandra Solaiman
  • Norma Tillman
  • Dr. Stephen Wildeus
  • Dr. Sally Williams

Education & Outreach Initiatives

Objective:
Description:

Methods

  1. February 2009 – An advisory committee consisting of the collaborating team will hold a teleconference call to start identifying other goat educators that should be a part of this committee and to establish a date for the first face-to-face meeting in Tallahassee, FL.

    March-April 2009- The committee will meet in a face-to face meeting to develop the theme, focus, and agenda for the conference. They will also convene to share the latest research findings, share concerns and ideas and develop a national strategy and agenda for the conference trainees. They will also discus future research collaborative efforts related to goat production. The proposed four day conference will be held in October of 2009 in Tallahassee, FL. Florida A&M University personnel will handle the logistics of the event.

    April-May 2009 – A conference call will be held to follow-up on committee activities, to identify other educators from each state that could benefit from the training activities and to start developing examination and survey questions that they feel are pertinent to the goat industry at the national level. Test questions will include subject areas that the committee feels that each trainer should know. Survey questions will be based on the number of sustainable goat production practices each producer has adopted on their farm, which practices where not adopted and why, and what where some of the barriers each producer faced why applying what they learned from their trainer etc.

    May 2009 – A third conference call will be held to further discuss conference activities. The committee will also decide on the format of the conference proceedings and a conference handbook for the goat educators. The trainees will be recruited and contacted from each committee member’s state to attend the conference. Each community member will provide scholarships for their selected educators to attend the conference. Information on the upcoming conference will be made available via email, internet, website, media and by phone to stakeholders, producers, CBO’s, NGO’s state and federal agencies etc.

    July 2009- All abstracts and handbook training materials will be due and sent to the identified editor for review.

    August 2009- The conference proceeding and a handbook will be developed by the July 2009.

    September 2009- A final conference call will be made to finalize the event activities.

    October 2009- Conference is held. Pre and post examinations will be administered and surveys will be disseminated to trainees six months and 12-months after the conference. The trainees will receive training by core group members and others that have been identified by the group as experts in goat production and management.

    Each committee member will follow-up with each trainee from their state, at 6 and 12 months after the conference to collect survey questions. The results will be forwarded to Florida A&M University to be statically analyzed. Data will be used to develop publications that will be made on each committee member’s website and disseminated through workshops, training meetings, to federal agencies and state agencies from each committee member’s respective state.

    2011- 2012 – Additional training opportunities will be provided to producers that were able or unable to attend the conference. Elements of the conference will be integrated into the Master Goat and Sheep Certification Program and the Master Farmer Program. Additional training material will developed to complement the 2010 National Goat Conference Proceeding.

    2012 – An alliance between researches and extension personnel from several land grant institutions as well as governmental agencies and a community-based organization to form the National Goat Consortium (NGC). The purpose of NGC will be to provide an avenue by which members of this organization can work constructively together to address critical issues facing the goat industry (through research and educational activities) at the national level. The National Goat Conference is one of the activities the NGC will host tri-annually.

Outreach and Publications

  1. Proceedings of the National Goat Conference

    Organized (3) additional educational activities for producers that were unable to attend the conference.

    Made site visits to 10 participants (from the Master Goat, National Goat Conference and Master Farmer Programs) to identified which practices were adopted on their farm as a result of the training program. At least, four to five sustainable goat production practices (i.e., pasture rotation, using the FAMACHA system, bio-security plan) were adopted on each of the farm sites. Farms were evaluated using the Farm Inspection form which can be viewed below (used on participants farms that attended the Master Goat and Sheep Certification Program and Master Farmer Program).

    Training Modules – Incorporated elements from the National Goat Program Proceedings into the modules that were used to train producers that attended the Master Goat and Sheep Certification Program and the Master Farmer Program (module 3 is below).

    To view exerts from this conference visit the website listed below.
    http://www.youtube.com/user/SmallRuminant

Outcomes and impacts:
  1. According to the results of the conference survey, producers, agricultural professionals and students who attended the National Goat Conference in 2010 were able to benefit from the educational and research-based information they received after attending the event. Producers felt they would make the greatest improvements on the farm in management, followed by herd health. Sixty-eight percent of the producers felt extremely confident about being able to apply their new knowledge to their farmer operations. Ninety-four percent of the conference attendees stated they would attend the conference again in the future while 51.69% would like to see the conference held annually. The full report from this survey has been posted on this site. As the result of this project, the following was also accomplished:

    The National Goat Conference was instituted as a tri-annual event.The next National Goat Conference is scheduled for September 15-18, 2013 in Greensboro, North Carolina. The host institution for this event is North Carolina A&T University. The Koury Convention Center has been reserved for this event. For more information on the conference, visit our website at http://www.nationalgoatconsortium.org on April 16th, 2013 for further details about the conference.

    The National Goat Consortium (NGC) was instituted to enable researchers and educators to further address critical issues facing the U.S. goat industry.

    Additional training opportunities were provided to producers on information obtained from the National Goat Conference.This training efforts has expanded to goat producers to Haiti.

    Agricultural professionals, producers and students have greater access to accurate educational.

    Made site visits to 10 participants (from the Master Goat and Master Farmer Programs) to identified which practices were adopted on their farm as a result of the training program. At least, four to five sustainable goat production practices (i.e., pasture rotation, using the FAMACHA system, bio-security plan) were adopted on each of the farm sites.

Project Outcomes

Project outcomes:
  1. Instituted the first National Goat Conference (tri-annual event) in the U.S. to provide greater access to producers, agricultural professionals and students to research-based educational information for the purpose of assisting in improving the sustainability of the goat industry at the national level.

    Established the National Goat Consortium (NGC) to enable researchers and educators to further address critical issues facing the U.S. goat industry.

    As a result of the conference, additional training opportunities were provided to producers (i.e., Florida, Alabama, Georgia) who were unable to attend the National Goat Conference. Some producers that attended the 2010 conference also participated in these training activities.

    Made site visits to 10 participants (from the Master Goat and Master Farmer Programs) to identified which practices were adopted on their farm as a result of the training program. At least, four to five sustainable goat production practices (i.e., pasture rotation, using the FAMACHA system, bio-security plan) were adopted on each of the farm sites.

    Conference attendees indicated in their survey that they had benefited from participating in this inaugural event and were willingly to adopt several of the practices they learned when they returned home to their farms.

    During the forum session of the conference, agricultural professionals in the audience had an opportunity to hear which issues producers felt the universities should focus their research efforts. Caseous lymphadenitis was identified as one of the major concerns of the producers who participated in this session during the conference.

Recommendations:

Potential Contributions

  1. Improved access to research-based educational information provided to agricultural professionals, producers and students through the National Goat Conference.

    Improved the number of producers adopting sustainable agricultural practices on their farm.

    Continued to assist in improving the viability of the U.S. goat industry by provided educational opportunities for conference attendees.

Future Recommendations

Collect data from the forum session of the conference to identified potential research efforts for the universities affiliated with the National Goat Consortium.

Continue providing research-based educational information through the National Goat Conference for agricultural professionals, students and farmers.

Involve a select group of extension agents who attended the conference to follow-up with their producers at 3 months, 6 months and 12 months after the event to access which practices were adopted on farm which were not and why? By providing this information, the conference committee can better designed training activities that would be more beneficial to the audience in future conferences. Surveying farmers from several regions in the U.S. can also give agricultural professional an idea on which direction to better focus their research efforts and enable educators to identify which regions in the country are more prevalent to certain problems (i.e., marketing, heath).

To view exerts from the 2010 conference visit http://www.Youtube.com/user/Small Ruminant.

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.