Technical Assistance for Meat Goat Marketing
The major cash crop in Owsley County, Kentucky is tobacco, and its production has been declining. A study conducted by the Kentucky Long Term Policy Research Center has predicted that in the 10 years from 1993 to 2003 tobacco production will decline by 41 percent.
A group of concerned citizens serving as the Owsley County Action Team joined together to study sustainable alternatives for their area. One alternative they identified was meat goat production and marketing in the eastern coastline region. The East Kentucky Goat Producers Association (EKGPA) was formed to further develop this alternative.
While the EKGPA is convinced the potential for meat goat production exists, there is little information about marketing available. Consequently, the EKGPA has decided that research into marketing is needed for meat goat production to be successful in Owsley County.
This producer organization intends to educate farmers and prospective farmers on meat goat production and marketing. They will demonstrate proper artificial insemination methods, selection of meat goat varieties, goat management and pasture management through field days and publications. They plan to network with, and visit, goat producers, marketers, slaughter houses and processing plants to learn about the latest meat goat management and marketing technology and potential markets.
The EKGPA will write and submit a series of newspaper articles describing their planned activities and invite participation. They will also conduct field days on artificial insemination and conduct pasture management demonstration projects. They will then analyze the data from pasture management demonstration projects. Following the data analysis they will conduct a field day on pasture management. They will also visit slaughter houses and processing plants in order to thoroughly understand market criteria they will have to meet.