Regional Meat Goat Production and Marketing Project: Phase 2
The Regional Goat Projects, Phases 1 and 2, have brought Extension professionals and producers from Kentucky (1890 and 1862 professionals and producers), Oklahoma (1890 professionals and producers), Texas (1890 professionals and producers), Tennessee (1890 and 1862 professionals and producers), Georgia (1890 professionals and producers), and Florida (1890 professionals and producers) to assess the training needs of Extension Agents and goat producers and to conduct training programs. The project collaborators met at Langston University in 2005, Kentucky State University in 2006, and will meet at Prairie View A&M University in 2007. As a result of the projects, collaborators have increased multi-institution educational programs and collaborative endeavors that include economic, marketing, and ethnic consumer issues, in addition to sustainable production education. Educational workshops and programs on sustainable goat production and marketing have expanded across the region, as has awareness of the issues associated with ethnic consumers (including religious-based).
Providing education on sustainable meat goat production and economic systems to agricultural professionals, paraprofessionals, non-profits, state and federal agencies, veterinarians, and farmer mentors, when combined with farmer listening forums should result in these behavior changes.
Objective 1. Agricultural professionals accept meat goats as sustainable farm enterprises for small farmers. They will initiate farmer education and hands-on demonstration programs on sustainable goat production including feeds/forages, breeding programs, parasite control, brush control and environmental aspects, and economics. They will facilitate efforts to develop sustainable systems for meat goats and facilitate efforts to develop farmer cooperatives, goat associations, and to identify potential markets for goats and goat products.
Objective 2. Agricultural professionals target educational programs to nontraditional producers and consumers including Middle Eastern, Hispanic, African American, women, youth (4-H and FFA), religious groups, small and limited-resource farmers. In delivering educational programs, professionals 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/her social and outreach skills leading to the inclusion of diverse groups in programming.
Objective 3. Agricultural professionals and farmers share expertise to: 1) develop and strengthen multi-state, multidisciplinary collaboration (agencies, 1890, 1862, and farmers) and 2) provide cross-state educational programming in sustainable goat production/economic systems. Agricultural professionals broaden their scope and become “system thinkers”.
Objective 4. Continue the work of the Phase I project, including the clearing-house of information for the region and to provide web-based information that has been proofed by professionals.
A. Kentucky State University held the second meeting of the Regional Goat Project Planning Group and Collaborators on October 17-19, 2006 with 20 (ten professionals and ten producers) participants from Kentucky, Tennessee, Florida, Texas and Oklahoma. The meeting included the October 19 Goat “Third Thursday” that had 185 participants. The Regional Planning Group reported on their progress and identified items to be accomplished during the upcoming year.
1. Langston University, through the KiKi de la Garza Goat Institute, reported on the “clearing-house of information” which is monitored by Terry Gipson, Steve Hart, and others. Kentucky State University’s Kenneth Andries reported on the information that he has forwarded to Langston University for the clearing-house.
2. Meetings of the Regional Planning Group are to be held at Prairie View A&M University in 2007 (Phase I, ES04-075, and Phase II, ES05-081 and ES05-082).
3. The group discussed outreach mechanisms for diverse clientele.
4. The group discussed the need for understanding the tastes and preferences of religious and ethnic consumers of goat meat, the need for more information, and the benefits of a tour to meet the players in these markets. They identified this as a priority.
5. The group discussed the need for agent and veterinarian training.
6. The group continued to focus on parasite management as a priority.
7. Langston University presented its Web-based Training and Certification Program for Meat Goat Producers (completed in 2005) and the Meat Goat Production Handbook (completed in 2006 for limited-resource audiences) that were developed with input from some 20 professionals from 12 states.
8. Tennessee State University shared information about its Goat Condition Scoring training information.
9. Kentucky State University and Prairie View A&M University shared the 1890 Risk-Assessed Business Planning for Small Producers training curriculum that was developed by professionals from four states for use with small and limited-resource audiences.
10. The group emphasized the need for disaster preparedness for goat producers as a priority area.
11. The group discussed “Third Thursday” and various methods of information delivery, workshops, and methods of educating agents, veterinarians, processors, state health/regulatory services, and the importance of farmer mentors.
12. The group emphasized economic information as a priority subject matter with emphasis on enterprise budgeting, farm business planning and analysis, record-keeping, and marketing.
13. The group discussed the need for direct marketing information and the benefits of marketing tours to goat markets.
14. Information was shared about the e-mail BLOG that is established in the Northeast Region for sharing goat information among Extension professionals. Collaborating professionals in this project were invited and encouraged to participate.
B. The meeting at Kentucky State University included professional educational sessions on forages, parasites and diseases, breeding management, working with non-traditional clientele, the tastes and preferences of ethnic and religious consumers of goat products, working with ethnic consumers and players in the market, preferred cuts and preparation of goat products, and direct marketing of goats to ethnic markets.
Impacts and Contributions/Outcomes
1. The Regional Goat Project Planning Group and Collaborators reported progress in professionals accepting goats as farm enterprises, yet see the need for continued agent, veterinarian, and USDA and state agency training.
2. They see the benefits of the Web-Based Training and Certification Program on-line curriculum and plan to use it in their programming.
3. Kentucky Cooperative Extension held a Sheep and Goat Summit in June of 2006 to address research and extension needs of the state. There were 65 professionals and farmers attending. Professionals crossed several disciplines. The University of Kentucky ANR Director and the Dean of the College of Agriculture called the Summit because they recognized sheep and goats as priority areas for Extension agent training.
4. Disaster preparedness for livestock producers became a priority area for the Southern Region ANR Program Leaders in FY2006. Goats also were discussed as a rapidly expanding farm enterprise that needs Extension programming efforts.
1. Langston University’s Web-based Training and Certification Program for Meat Goat Producers is being used across the region.
2. Southern Region ANR Leaders recognize goats as farm enterprises and are committing efforts to serve goat producers.
3. Educational videos and information has been shared among collaborators and other states, including the Northeast Region’s e-mail BLOG to support goat educational efforts among professionals.
4. New collaborators are working on regional projects that will impact sustainable goat production in the Southern Region.
University of Kentucky
Florida A&M University
Fort Valley State University
Tennessee State University
Kentucky State University
University of Kentucky
Prairie View A&M University