Final Report for FNE96-149
Note to readers, attached is the final report for FNE96-149
This has been a three-year effort directed at developing export markets for goats and goat semen. Ms. Ratcliff’s work has involved contacting potential exporters — goat owners and their associations and cooperatives throughout the Northeast — as well as veterinarians, livestock brokers, and various personnel in Cooperative Extension and state departments of agriculture, whose assistance is required in exporting goats and semen. She has also been compiling information about goats from the Northeast into promotional literature, contacting potential buyers overseas, and sending them this literature. This effort includes gathering information that will be needed by exporters, such as shipping costs and foreign regulations governing imports. At the same time, she has been building up a bank of frozen semen taken from goats whose dams were exceptional producers of milk.
Now in its third year, the project is seeing results. With the help of others, often other goat farmers, Ms. Ratcliff had compiled a list of some 200 breeders in the New York and New England area who have quality animals and semen available for export, and this group has established a quarantine and semen collection operation in Schenectady, New York. She has also put together data sheets and a color catalog of the animals whose semen is for sale, familiarized herself with the relevant health regulations of several countries, and made several mass mailings to prospective customers in various parts of the world. These efforts have led to several sales in Canada, Mexico, and Taiwan, and resulted in leads for other possible sales.
Ms. Ratcliff has established contact with many breeders, goat associations, charitable organizations, cheese-makers, U.S. agricultural attachés, and others, often by means of the Internet. Prospects for further sales seemed very good indeed, until the current economic depression took hold in East Asia, South America, and other parts of the world. Ms. Ratcliff remains confident, however, as the economies in these regions appear to be starting to recover.
1999 Northeast Region SARE/ACE Report.