Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Book Sire Edition ads early for advertising discount

The June issue of Goat Rancher will feature special articles targeting buck health, management and promotion - plus advertising opportunities for well-known and up-and-coming herdsires.

In addition to being mailed to our thousands of subscribers, the Goat Rancher Sire Edition will be available at the American Boer Goat Association National Show and other events throughout the summer, including the Labor Day Weekend sales. The Special Sire Edition also will be available at most Tractor Supply Co. stores.

If you want national exposure for your sire, here it is!

To launch our First Annual Sire Edition, Goat Rancher is offering an early-bird discount. Book your half-page or larger color ad by 5 p.m. May 1 and get a 5% discount.

Submit your print-ready ad* by 5 p.m. May 5 and get an extra 5% off. That's a total of up to 10% off your Sire Edition ad.

To learn more about our advertising rates and specifications, click here

To learn more about Goat Rancher magazine, click here

To book your ad or for more information, call 888-562-9529 or e-mail

*Print-ready ads must be a correctly sized, high-resolution PDF or JPEG.

LSU field day Saturday in Baton Rouge

Monday, April 21, 2014

Program helps new Americans raise goats for meat

COLCHESTER, Vt. April 18, 2014 (AP)
By LISA RATHKE Associated Press

A bunch of kids in a minivan are solving twin challenges in northern Vermont: refugees struggling to find the food of their homelands and farmers looking to offload unwanted livestock.
The half dozen kids — that is, baby goats — that arrived last week at Pine Island Farm were the latest additions to the Vermont Goat Collaborative, a project that brings together new Americans hungry for goat meat with dairy goat farmers who have no need for young male animals. Some dairy farmers who otherwise would discard bucklings at birth or spend valuable time finding homes for them now can send them to Colchester, where they will be raised and sold to refugees, some of whom have spent full days traveling to Boston or New Hampshire for fresh goat, or have settled for imported frozen meat.
When community organizer Karen Freudenberger realized that the roughly 6,000 new Americans from southeast Asia, Africa and elsewhere living in the Burlington area were buying what amounted to 3,000 goats a year from Australia and New Zealand, she saw an opportunity. Since some of them had been farmers raising goats in their native countries, why couldn't they do it in Vermont, prized for its working landscape and locally raised foods?
"People keep saying, are you sure you can sell all those goats? We are sure we can sell all those goats," said Freudenberger, who helped launch the project.
Now in its second year, the collaborative includes two families from Bhutan and Rwanda who are raising about 200 baby goats that will be slaughtered on site and sold in the fall.
While there are no federal statistics on goat meat consumption, the USDA says demand for it is increasing, driven in part by a growth in ethnic populations. The U.S. had 2.3 million head of meat goats in January 2013, according to the National Agricultural Statistics Service, with Texas producing the most, followed by Tennessee.
Some of the refugees Freudenberger has worked with had trouble communicating with farmers when trying to buy fresh goat meat, while others were questioned by authorities for slaughtering an animal by the side of the road or for having a goat in a car. They are looking forward to being able to select, buy and slaughter their goats in a matter of hours instead of making the long, expensive trip to Boston, said goat farmer Chuda Dhaurali.
"It's very helpful," he said. "They are so excited."
"The whole project is really designed around trying to meet this particular niche demand that this community has ... in a way that meets the particular cultural and taste desires of their communities," Freudenberger said.
The project is a collaboration between the Vermont Land Trust, which is giving the farmers access to the farm property on the Winooski River, and the Association of Africans Living in Vermont, now called AALV. The idea is that the land will be transferred to a cooperative entity representing the new American population and that group will take over the costs of the land — such as the insurance and taxes, Freudenberger said.
A grant of about $20,000 from Green Mountain Coffee Roasters helped to get Dhaurali started last year with electric fencing, feed and other supplies. Another Vermont Working Lands grant of more than $10,000 helped create the custom slaughter facility. The project subsidizes the farmer for the first year, but when they sell the goats in the fall, it allows them to finance future years.
Last year the project sold about 100 goats to families from more than 15 nationalities. Often, whole families including grandparents visit the farm to pick out the goat. Goat buyers can slaughter the animals on site the way they are accustomed to.
"It's more than just the meat — the nutritional side of it. It's also very cultural in terms of the way that people are wanting to participate in the whole process," Freudenberger said.
And Dhaurali, who is from Bhutan and spent 18 years as a refugee in Nepal, said many of the older members of Vermont's Nepalese community don't care for the taste of chicken, beef or pork.
The Vermont Goat Collaborative could grow to about 400 goats, with three families sharing the barn and pasture. That's far from meeting the demand, but that's not the idea. The project is designed to be a model that could be transferred to other farms and states. It already has sparked interest in Maine, New Hampshire and North Carolina.

"The idea is not to get our farm huge so that we can send our goats all over the country, but it's to get a working a model that then can be transferred and tweaked given people's particular situations to make it work," Freudenberger said.

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Spring goat events planned in East Texas


By Fred Vandermartin
The East Texas Goat Raisers Association Spring instructional and general membership meeting will be held at the ETGRA Home Place on Saturday, April 5th starting at 10 a.m. The speaker will be Dr. Kelly Thompson, DVM from Prairie View A&M and she will be addressing the subject of general goat health. Dr. Thompson has worked with both the dairy and meat goat herds at PVA&M and will be ready to answer all of those questions ya’ll have been itching to ask! The election of officers will be addressed so if you want to cast your vote by mail and see how it was counted then come on to the meeting. There’s always other topics of discussion brought up so if you’d care to share an idea or propose something then stand and be heard. Of course we’ll also have our traditional pot luck dinner in between the instructional session and the general meeting so bring an appetite and a taste of your favorite vittles to share with others. I like desserts!  Directions to the ETGRA Home Place can be found at  Acting president Gwen Vandermartin has approved of this message!
   The East Texas Goat Raisers Association would like to invite Dairy Breeders to their inaugural April Showers Dairy Show on Saturday, April 12th, 2014 at the Navarro County Expo Center in Corsicana, Texas. This two ring ADGA Sanctioned show will feature the Junior/Senior Nigerian Dwarf, Junior/Senior Nubian, Junior/Senior AOP, Senior Alpine, and Senior LaMancha breeds. The Judge for ring A will be Scott Horner and the Judge for Ring B will be Tamara Taylor. ADGA rules will apply. Friday evening at 7 p.m. there will be an educational seminar and clinic given by Mr. Horner followed by a showmanship jackpot. Winner receives cash prize. For registration information please visit our show page at or our Facebook events page at We also have sponsorship opportunities. For more information contact Gwen VanderMartin at Also if anyone is interested in having a vendor table please let Gwen know. We also are going to have a Raffle/Silent auction as well.

    The East Texas Goat Raisers Association is sponsoring a Forages for Goats Seminar and Pasture Walk on Friday, May 16, 2014, in Alba, Texas.  The event will focus on practical information about forage and parasite management for goats and includes a pasture walk at Lake Fork Kikos. Registration begins at 8:00 a.m. at the Family Community Center, 147 Hopkins Street, Alba, Texas (directly across the street from the U.S. Post Office).  Cost for the event, which runs until 4:00 p.m., is $15.00 per person and includes a delicious chevon lunch.  Advanced registration by phone (903-316-6959) or by email ( is greatly appreciated. Speakers at the seminar will be Clint Perkins / CEA-Ag Wood County, Ryan Walser / USDA-NRCS Grazing Lands Specialist, John Stone / USDA-NRCS District Conservationist, and Kraig Stemme, DVM.  Lake Fork Kikos, a 32 acre farm in Wood County, Texas, was the 2013 recipient of Top Herdsman Grand Champion Award from the Oklahoma Forage Buck Performance Test sponsored by the OSU Extension Service and Eastern Oklahoma State College in Wilburton, OK.

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Tuskegee to host grazing/browsing program March 25-26

The Tuskegee University Cooperative Extension Program in collaboration with other land grant universities (Auburn, Langston, and Mississippi State), Alabama Natural Resources Conservation Service, and PadmaDal Memorial Foundation is conducting a 2-day training program – Sustainable Year-Round Forage Production and Grazing/Browsing Management (goat focus) for field agricultural professionals and livestock producers. Training will be conducted on March 25-26, 2014; March 24 and 27 will be the travel dates for those who will be coming a long way to Tuskegee. 

Program Objective
The objective of this program is to train field-level Extension and technical assistance personnel (hereafter field personnel) and livestock producers in year-round forage production and grazing/browsing management in the Southeast Region. The trained field personnel are expected to educate and help goat producers in the Southeastern Region make their production system more sustainable through pasture improvement and sustainable grazing management.

Major Training Topics
The training will consists of various topics relevant to year-round forage production and grazing/browsing management, such as agronomic aspects of forage production, sustainable grazing/browsing management, suitable forage species for developing year-round grazing systems for goats and cattle, grazing facilities for different grazing systems, browse species, supplementary feeding, weed management, resource conservation, and economics. Each topic will include hands-on activities

Detailed information (including program flyer, agenda, and registration form) is available at this link: