Residents of southwest Missouri have probably noticed a large increase in the number of goats grazing in area fields.
As a result of this increase, University of Missouri Extension, Southwest Missouri State University and several local producers, have teamed together to form a new organization called the Missouri Boer Goat Association.
The mission of this group -- with assistance from the universities -- is to help provide educational workshops for the public regarding goat production.
Future workshops on nutrition, parasite control, reproduction and foot care are being planned.
For more information on workshops or joining the MBGA, visit here.
A free seminar and discussion session on raising meat goats took place on May 17, 2005, at the Barton County Extension Center in Lamar. It was led by experienced meat goat producers for anyone interested in more information on raising meat goats.
The meat-goat business still seems to hold great potential according to Dona Funk, livestock specialist with University of Missouri Extension.
There is a growing, solid market for goat meat (chevon) in the United States and in southwest Missouri. According to the US Department of Agriculture, in just December of 2004, the U.S. imported almost 2 million pounds of goat meat from Australia.
“Goats can live and produce goat meat on almost anything, especially the brushy pastures of southwest Missouri. For many livestock producers, they are an alternative to the chemical forms of weed control,” said Funk.
Small numbers of goats can even be grazed with cattle without decreasing the stocking rates for the cattle.