I am working with 7 other institutions (representing 8 states in the southeast) in seeking USDA Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education (SARE) support/funding to conduct critical research and to develop outreach programs to limit risks in goat production. Simply stated, funds will be used to:
Support/conduct research and develop recommendations on reducing the high cost of goat production for high quality meat and milk products (cost-effective feeds, increased reproductive management etc.)
Support/Conduct research and develop recommendations on effective parasite control strategies in the wake of increasing drug resistance, including the best use of Livamol with Bioworma on farms.
Support/conduct marketing surveys (producers, processors, farmers markets, consumers) to determine needs and current limitations.
Develop marketing strategies/recommendations based on survey results.
It is extremely important that we get producer input in the development, implementation and evaluation of this large systems project. We want to make sure we are including and addressing their needs. Therefore, I am seeking input from 3 – 4 commercial goat producers (meat or dairy) in the state. Ideally, this would be an individual with >30 breeding females, selling products in multiple outlets, looking to increase production and profitability from their operation and most importantly want to see US goat production increase and be sustainable. This individual could be someone selected by their association to serve as a representative.
If you are interested or want more information, please reach out to me via email or phone call so we can discuss the project and your role moving forward. Also, please forward to any producer/groups you believe might be interested. This is a way to influence the direction of future goat research in the Southeast and make sure that its challenges are adequately addressed.
“The greatness of a man is not in how much wealth he acquires, but in his integrity and his ability to affect those around him positively.” – Bob Marley
Dahlia O’Brien, Ph.D
Professor and Small Ruminant Specialist
Virginia Cooperative Extension
Virginia State University
1 Hayden Drive,
Petersburg, VA 23806