Goat Production Is Increasing in Iowa

Meat Goat Workshop will be held April 14 to provide education for producers on health, nutrition, marketing and processing.

Meat goat producers and people interested in the industry are invited to attend a "Continuing Education for Meat Goat Producers" workshop at the Scheman Building on the Iowa State University campus in Ames on Saturday, April 14. The meeting is sponsored by the ISU Extension Value-Added Agriculture Program.

According to the American Meat Goat Association, the U.S. meat goat industry is experiencing an average growth rate of 12% each year in production which is unable to keep up with consumer demand. Goat is the "meat of choice" among many Hispanic populations, and also for immigrants from Bosnia, Sudan and other African, Middle Eastern and East European countries.

Big rise in demand for meat goats

"Because of the large increase in demand for meat goats, there is a large interest among producers in raising goats," says Christa Hartsook, a specialist with ISU's Value-Added Ag Program. "However, goats are still a relatively new operation to most of Iowa, so continuing education on goat nutrition, marketing, on-farm processing and herd health is paramount to the success of any operation."

At the workshop, producers will learn about specific herd health concerns and treatments and nutrition of the meat goat. Extension staff will share grazing management strategies to utilize meat goats as pasture management tools and on-farm processing regulations will be covered. A panel of producers who market meat goats in various ways will share their experiences.

Pre-registration is preferred. Call the ISU program's office at (515) 294-9483. Cost of the workshop is $20, prior to April 4 or $25 at the door and includes lunch, breaks and materials. For more information or to register, contact Christa Hartsook or Sue Woods at the Value-Added Agriculture Program at 515-294-9483 or e-mail to [email protected]@iastate.edu.

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