- Animals: goats
- Animal Production: free-range
- Education and Training: extension, farmer to farmer, on-farm/ranch research, participatory research
- Farm Business Management: market study
- Production Systems: integrated crop and livestock systems
The Farmer/Rancher grant recipient, Holly Napier of Napier Family Farms, is introducing goat meat to mainstream consumers in southwestern Colorado. The meat the farm sells at farmers markets typically comes from Nubian/Angora crossbred goats six to eight months old and cut to 90% lean, which yields a mild-tasting product.
Napier will experiment with crossbreeding Nubian, Angora and Boer goats to produce a milder tasting meat. She’ll compare birth weight and growth rates and conduct taste and tenderness tests. Napier hopes to answer whether there is enough of a taste difference in Angora crossed meat to make the slower growth rate worthwhile and financially viable compared with purebred larger meat breeds.
In addition to providing a source of food, the goats evenly graze the farm’s pastures, eat knapweed and thistle (they prefer these over the grass) and fertilize the farm’s pastures.