- Animals: goats, sheep
- Animal Production: animal protection and health, grazing - continuous, feed formulation, feed rations, grazing management, herbal medicines, livestock breeding, mineral supplements, grazing - multispecies, pasture fertility, pasture renovation, preventive practices, grazing - rotational, stocking rate, vaccines, winter forage
- Crop Production: food product quality/safety
- Education and Training: demonstration, display, extension, farmer to farmer, networking, workshop, technical assistance
- Farm Business Management: new enterprise development, budgets/cost and returns, community-supported agriculture, marketing management, value added
According to Bowman, 2003, meat goat production continues to be one of the fastest growing livestock industries in the U.S and has proven to be a profitable enterprise for many small farm families. The demand for goat meat and value added meat goat products among ethnic consumers in maintaining their religious or cultural practices continues to increase.. There has also be increased evidence of significant health benefits from the consumption of chevon or cabrito. Because of this increased demand among a diverse population of consumers, 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 for profit. There is also a lack of reliable scientific information regarding the production and management of meat goat enterprises. Florida A&M University will collaborate on this project with eight other 1890 institutions, two 1862 institution, Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumers Services and a community based organization to host a national goat conference. The conference objectives are to develop a national strategy. and agenda to train extension agents, and others (i.e., NRCS, farmer-group-leaders) on goat production, management and marketing. Extension agents and other individuals will be invited from each consortium member’s state to attend the conference. Survey instruments will be used to determine which new technologies that can be used to further develop strategic plans to enhance the goat industry.
Project objectives from proposal:
The overall objective of this project is to increase the number of educators (extension agents, state and federal agencies, community-based organizations [CBOs], private entities and non-governmental organization [NGOs]) trained on current, 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.
Develop a clearing house of goat production and management information that is currently available or is in the developmental stages (i.e., Langston’s Goat Certification program, eXtension Community of Practice for goats, university’s goat websites, publications) for goat producers, agricultural professionals, students, federal and state agencies and other interested parties.