All joking aside: Goats step from comic relief to dairy spotlight (in the USA)
Sara T. Bredesen
There are plenty of jokes shared among cow dairymen that praise one breed at the expense of another, but at the bottom of the heap in nearly every joke is the lowly goat. Lowly in stature compared to their bovine sisters perhaps, but America’s dairy goats are making headway in the dairy industry as contenders for the attention of cheese-savvy consumers.
Milk goats were brought to the New World 300 years ago by its first English settlers in Jamestown and Plymouth Rock, and by Spanish explorers nearly two centuries before that in the American Southwest. The animals were gregarious, easy keepers, infinitely more transportable than cattle and could consistently deliver as many as three or four offspring annually. The young, in turn, would produce milk and meat within one year of birth. Dairy goats became the mainstay of small homesteads and were as much a part of diversified farming as pigs and chickens. A USDA census in 1900 estimated dairy goat numbers at 1.2 million.
Small Ruminant Research Summaries
AASRP Meeting at 51st AABP Annual Conference
Phoenix, Arizona, USA, September 14, 2018
The 51st AABP Annual Conference will feature a scientific session focused on small ruminant research applicable to the health, welfare and productivity of goats, sheep, camelids or farmed deer. Research projects having direct application to small ruminant practitioners are being sought for the Oral Session on Friday, September 14. Each presentation should be limited to 15 minutes. Faculty, graduate students, practitioners or veterinary students are urged to share information with practitioners.
National Goat Conference, Tuskegee University
Tuskegee, Alabama, USA
September 16-18, 2018
Message from the Chair
On behalf of the National Goat Consortium planning committee, it is a pleasure to announce the third National Goat Conference. This conference will be held at Tuskegee University in Tuskegee, Alabama on September 16th -18th, 2018. The conference was first held at Florida A&M University in 2010 and North Carolina A&T University in 2013. Both events had attendance well over 400 participants. Building on previous successes of the National Goat Conference we will continue to provide the following:
E (Kika) de la Garza American Institute for Goat Research
The five-year report of activities of the E (Kika) de la Garza American Institute for Goat Research is presented here. Through this report, you will find that this institute has proved itself again to be the United States’ premier institution for goat research, extension, and international activities. Over the past five years, we have reached a new milestone in our core foundational programs and expanding new programs. Within this report, you will find a synopsis of our major accomplishments. Our Institute scientists and extension specialists have led the way in publishing pertinent research findings, developing user-friendly technology for information dissemination to producers, and implementing development-centered assistance programs internationally. If you are not familiar with our exciting and forward-looking research programs, dynamic extension and outreach activities, and life-changing international activities, you soon will be. Our passion is enhancing goat productivity and improving the lives of goat producers worldwide. We hope that this report will ignite some of those same passions in you.
Read the entire report, Exploring New Frontiers.
Written by C. S. Wilson, B. Krehbiel, and H. D. Blackburn
Genetic diversity underpins the livestock breeders’ ability to improve the production potential of their livestock. Therefore, it is important to periodically assess genetic diversity within a breed. Such an analysis was conducted on U.S. dairy goat breeds and this article is an overview of that work. In March 2014, pedigree files were obtained from the American Dairy Goat Association (ADGA) in order to conduct a genetic diversity evaluation using pedigree information and assess how well the bucks in the National Animal Germplasm Program (NAGP) gene bank represent various goat breeds. NAGP is part of the U.S. Department of Agriculture. The primary function of the gene bank is to serve as a strategic reserve of genetic diversity for the livestock industry to use, particularly in the event of a local or national crisis such as rebuilding breeds after an epidemic. Additional material is in the gene bank for use by breeders and researchers for DNA analysis or reintroduction of genetics that are no longer commercially available. The NAGP gene bank currently includes more than 22,700 animals and 778,000 units of germplasm and various tissues. Of this collection, 409 animals (9,657 units) are goats. Within the goat collection, 146 animals (1,900 units) are from dairy breeds and, within that, 73 animals (1,542 units) have semen stored.
This year will be the 3rd Annual National Goat Expo. This year’s NGE will take place September 25-29, 2014 at the McLean County Fairgrounds in Bloomington, Illinois.
The first year was a huge success with 400-450 goats in attendance in 2012 with about 600-800 people in attendance with their goats or for seminars. In 2013, this number increased to a total of 825 goats in attendance for show and exhibit, people in numbers for the 5 days increased to 2500+ attending seminars and shows, showing goats or being vendors. The organizers are excited to announce they have increased attendance again, and the number of goats showing at NGE. Boer goats were the highest in number with 162 goats.
Anson County will be offering a Small Ruminant Producer Training on June 3rd. Body Conditioning and Herd Health will start at 2pm; with FAMACHA training starting at 4pm. The certification is $12 for the FAMACHA portion only.
Pre-Registration is required. Please contact Jessica Morgan by May 27th at 704-694-2415 or email@example.com.
Monday, May 5, 2014
Guilford County Extension Barn
3309 Burlington Rd.
Greensboro, NC 2740
Morning session is FREE, and FAMACHA© training is $12.00.
Pre-Registration is required:
Please contact Lauren Langley at 336-266-0702 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Written by Stephan Wildeus, IGA Regional Director for USA, Canada & Puerto Rico.
Four national main goat events were held in the U.S. in 2013.
The American Dairy Goat Association Conference and Annual Convention, an eight-day event held in Asheville, NC. Shows and workshops were held during the convention. The IGA Secretary-Treasurer gave a workshop on “Integrated Gastrointestinal Parasite Control and FAMACHA Certification” and another on ‘Forages for Meat Goats”, and the official IGA poster, membership applications and ERCG2014 were displayed. The IGA secretary-treasurer also spoke briefly at one of the board meetings, describing IGA activities and thanking the American Dairy Goat Association for their sustained institutional financial support.
The 10th Anniversary of the American Consortium for Small Ruminant Parasite Control at Fort Valley State University, GA. This Integrated Parasite Management/Train-the-Trainer Conference educates stakeholders in the small ruminant industry on the most up-to-date methods and recommendations for gastrointestinal parasite control as well as providing training and certification in Integrated Gastrointestinal Parasite Management. Three IGA board members (Felipe Torres Acosta, Hervé Hoste and Jean-Marie Luginbuhl) are also members of the American Consortium and made oral presentations.
The International Goat Association promotes goat research and development for the benefit of humankind, to alleviate poverty, to promote prosperity and to improve the quality of life.