An Investigation of the General and Niche Market Goat Meat Demand

Project Overview

Project Type: Research and Education
Funds awarded in 2002: $161,074.00
Projected End Date: 12/31/2007
Region: Southern
State: Georgia
Principal Investigator:
Mack C. Nelson
Fort Valley State University

Annual Reports


  • Animals: goats


  • Education and Training: display, extension, farmer to farmer
  • Farm Business Management: market study


    The eleven state region from Texas to North Carolina (TX, LA, OK, AR, MS, AL, FL, GA, TN, SC and NC) is the goat production region. The region accounted for 78% of all goat production and 81% of meat goat production in 1997. Meat goats in the U.S. have been minor food animals but their numbers and importance to farm income have increased in recent years, particularly in the South. The number of farms producing meat goats in the region between 1992 and 1997 increased by more than 59%. All states in the region had substantial gains in meat goat production and this production took place primarily on small farms. Net imports of goat meat also increased dramatically during the period. Changes in goat production and net imports are thought to be related to increases in the segment of the population that have preferences for goat products. The implication of these statistics is an increased goat meat demand. However, little research is available that explain the consumption demographics of goat meat.

    Historical data series are not readily available on goat production, marketing and consumption. Thus, information on consumption, product characteristics desired, the markets used by goat producers are not widely available nor is the relative importance of the markets or characteristics of the markets. Little is known also about the production problems experienced by producers and their relative importance on decision making.

    Project objectives:

    To establish the level of consumption and demand within the general population and identify opportunities for increased consumption, identify the goat meat products desired and estimate the potential level of demand.

    To assess the level of demand and product characteristics desired by the Hispanic niche market. This assessment will also seek to determine the effects of income levels, educational attainment, integration into the larger community, the passing of food consumption preferences from parents to offspring and other socioeconomic demographic factors on demand/consumption.

    To study the feasibility of strategic alliances between producers, and producers and marketing entities to efficiently exploit markets as influenced by producer and farm characteristics including herd size, land holdings, adoption of breeding and production technologies.

    Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this publication are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the view of the U.S. Department of Agriculture or SARE.