Conference sheds light on goat meat industry

Florida A&M will host the nations first National Goat Conference, Sept. 12-15 at the Leon County Civic Center. The conference will provide a forum for goat producers, students, professionals and organizations to address all aspects of one the fastest growing areas in the livestock industry.

The conference theme, “Strengthening the Goat Industry,” will cover marketing and processing, breeding, food science and will include keynote speaker David Hugh, Ph.D., author of “Sheep and Goat Medicine.” Information on nutrition and pasture management will also be addressed during the conference. 

According to the U.S Department of Agriculture, The demand for goat meat has increased in markets of the southeastern U.S, which has led to new marketing opportunities for the farmers.

Despite it’s growth, goat meat competition from other red meats, high marketing costs and traveling distance from wholesaler to processor that may challenge it’s popularity, according to a study by the FAMU College of Engineering Sciences, Technology and Agriculture.

The USDA serves as a sponsor and the Cooperative Extension Program at FAMU is working closely with the Florida Department of Agriculture as well as many universities across the country including Virginia State University and University of Florida. 

In a statement, Charles Bronson, Commissioner of Agriculture said,  “the conference is an exciting opportunity to bring together health professionals, marketing experts and those in government to determine what is needed to take the next step in transforming what is seen by many as a niche product into a widely accepted and desired product.”