Keyword Exclusive - More about the goat industry
Supplement to “Growing Goat Markets”
GOAT WEB SITES
Kentucky Goat Producers Association
Kentucky Department of Agriculture Sheep and Goat Marketing
University of Kentucky Goat Research and Education
American Boer Goat Association
United States Boer Goat Association
International Boer Goat Association
DAIRY GOATS: ROOM FOR EXPANSION
While the meat goat industry is booming, the Kentucky Goat Producers Association is also working to promote the expansion of Kentucky’s fledgling dairy goat industry as well, says the group’s past president, Ray Bowman.
Helping the dairy industry advance is also a priority of the Kentucky Department of Agriculture, says marketing specialist Tess Caudill. “We’ve worked on it a few years now, and we’re certainly not going to give up on it,” Caudill says.
The dairy goat industry hasn’t taken off to the extent of the meat industry because of the added infrastructure it requires. While meat goats require very little upfront investment—basically all that’s needed is a shelter and some grazing land—dairy goat producers also must invest in building a Grade A dairy to state and government specifications if they plan to market goat’s milk or cheese.
Too, while live goats are easy to ship for processing in other states, fresh milk is a much more perishable commodity, and therefore much more difficult to transport and market, Caudill says.
Currently, there are no Grade A goat dairies in the state, though that may soon change, says Kathy Jones, a dairy goat farmer from Winchester.
“I’m enthusiastic right now, because I’ve gotten so many inquiries over the last six months, from people asking about getting into the dairy goat business. They call wanting to know the state requirements, and the Grade A requirements,” Jones says.
Since Jones does not have a Grade A dairy, she cannot sell her goat’s milk, though she does use it for cooking, feeding the baby calves and pigs on her parents’ farm, and making body soap products. Of course, goat’s milk can also be used in making yogurt and butter, as well as many kinds of cheeses.
In time, Kentucky’s dairy goat industry may catch up to the success of its meat counterpart once an infrastructure to support it is available. “I think there is a tremendous amount of room for growth” in the dairy industry, says Bowman.
For more information, see the American Dairy Goat Association’s Web site at www.adga.org.
HELP IN SWITCHING FROM TOBACCO TO GOATS
To date, 92 Kentucky counties have participated in the Goat Diversification Model Program through the Governor’s Office of Agricultural Policy. Through funds from tobacco settlement monies, the program provides farmers in participating counties with an opportunity to receive up to a 50 percent reimbursement for certain expenses in starting their goat herd, including purchasing breeding stock, equipment, and handling facilities.
So far, more than $3.2 million in county funds has been awarded. For more information, go to http://agpolicy.ky.gov/funds/goat.shtml, or contact your county Extension office or your local goat association. (A list of goat associations and contacts is available on the Kentucky Goat Producers Association Web site at www.kentuckygpa.com.)
To read the Kentucky Living January 2006 feature that goes along with this supplement, click here: Growing Goat Markets