All about goats … and then some |

All about goats … and then some

By Doris Uphoff

Lexington, Neb.

You will have an opportunity to learn facts about the goat industry on April 13th at Beatrice, Neb., at a Goat Workshop organized by Five Rivers RC&D. Facts such as: one acre of pasture will support up to 10 goats; goats will rid pastures of undesirable trees and brush; goats pastured with cattle will increase the carrying capacity and produce an extra cash crop; goat meat has more protein and less saturated fat than chicken; and the number of goats processed for consumption has nearly doubled since 1990.

Grazing, selection, health, the cash flow on goats and other topics for all levels of goat experience will be available to you at the Goat Workshop.

Speakers for the workshop include:

– Dr. Terry Gipson, Langston University, Okla., was born into a farming family in southeast Missouri. In high school, Dr. Gipson was active in FFA and attained the rank of State Farmer. In 1993, he joined Virginia State University as an Assistant Professor in the Meat Goat Program. At VSU, Dr. Gipson held a split appointment in research and extension. His research emphasis while at VSU included the evaluation of an accelerated kidding system and parasite-resistance in several goat breeds. He currently is supervisor of the meat buck performance test and also teaches an introductory animal science course.

– Dr. Ann Wells, Veterinarian, National Center for appropriate Technology Transfer has been involved in the sheep and goat industries for years, including 12 years in private veterinary practice, raising and direct-marketing to restaurants in Tulsa, Wichita, and Kansas City; and studying the health issues affecting sheep and goats, particularly parasite control. Interested in encouraging health rather than treating disease, Dr. Wells believes in building the immune system through good nutrition, using integrated parasite management techniques and reducing stress on the animal in order to help the animal stay healthy. She has an interest in alternative medicine and continues to further her education.

– Linda Coffey, Technical Specialist, National Center for Appropriate Technology Transfer Aug. 2000-present NCAT Agriculture Specialist, responsible for assisting small ruminant producers with information to help solve problems, answer questions, provide resources for further learning. Writing and updating ATTRA publications related to small ruminant production and multi-species grazing. Also assists in daily chores and management of small farm flock of crossbred ewes. She grew up on a diversified livestock farm in central Missouri. Involved in raising sheep from age 12 until leaving home for college

– Steve Melvin, Extension Educator, UNL, will share his experiences with grazing goats and sheep in cattle pastures in south-central Nebraska. He has considerable hands-on experience using goats to control plant species not palatable to cattle. Steve’s sixteen years of experience with Cooperative Extension has been primarily in pasture management with a focus on rotational grazing, fence and water systems and multi-species grazing. He obtained his BS and MS in Mechanized Agriculture from the University of Nebraska in 1984 and 1985.

– Bruce Anderson, Forage Specialist, UNL has led forage extension and research at the University of Nebraska since 1979. His extension emphasis focuses on pasture utilization and on alfalfa production and marketing. Research emphasizes utilization of warm-season grasses, forage quality in hay and pasture systems, and using legumes to improve pastures. Dr. Anderson is recognized nationally as an authority on warm-season grasses, forage-livestock systems, hay quality management and alfalfa production techniques. He is a highly-sought speaker because of his practical approach to sophisticated forage management. He resides on and operates a small, pasture only farm near Lincoln.

– Tony Phillippe, President, Northwoods Marketing Cooperative, Inc. holds a Bachelor of Science Degree in Business Management with advanced training in Special Project Research and Development from both Ames Research Center and Lockheed International. He owns a small farm in Marinette County. Tony has been working closely with the University of Wisconsin in Madison Extension for Cooperative Development and the Agricultural Extension office as Charter Member and President of Northwoods Marketing Cooperative, Inc. to develop value added products in sustainable agriculture that will kick start a rebirth of profitable family farming. He believes small ruminants, especially goats, are the key to this effort. Tony will present a fact sheet that provides economic information on developing and operating a commercial meat goat enterprise on a small acreage. This information was generated by a group of meat goat producers who arrived at a consensus on investment, production, costs and revenues. This is a supplemental enterprise that starts production with 50 females and grows to 100 females over a five-year period.

This will be an opportunity for you to learn about goats from specialists and visit with other goat breeders that will also be in attendance. Information that you receive here will provide the basis to determine if meat goats are a good addition to your operation now or in the future or enhance your present goat operation.

Pre-registration is required for the workshop and will include your lunch and breaks. The fee is $20 per person, $15 for members of any Goat Association and $5 for additional family members (Max. of two extra). The day’s program starts at 9:30 a.m. and will end at 4:00 p.m. (CDT) with sessions and displays throughout the day. For a complete agenda and registration call (402) 335-3347, Five Rivers RC&D or e-mail Howard McNiff at


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