Monday, December 19, 2011

American Goat Federation Roundup

Since establishment in mid-2010 the American Goat Federation has been gathering strength through numbers as various goat industry organizations and individuals have joined the ranks for a national and united voice. The list of members currently includes representation from all the major sectors and many regions of the USA. 

The Federation will hold its 2012 annual meeting in Scottsdale, AZ on Saturday, January 28 at the Scottsdale Plaza Resort. At that time in addition to developing, discussing and accepting a Strategic Plan the election of new Board members will occur. Goat producers, goat organization representatives, and member agencies are encouraged to attend and provide input. 

Over the past 18 months various Board members and taskforce chairs have been active representing the American goat sector in numerous policy development, planning, informational, and study events.  A recently released summary of those accomplishments has been compiled and is available by request or through the AGF website.  Among them were participation in three working groups associated with USDA Agriculture Research Service and the National Institute for Food and Agriculture programs in animal health and animal agriculture systems. Some of these deliberations were species-specific and if AGF had not stepped forward the goat sector would have been without an informed voice and representation. 

The Federation has been a part of discussions held by the National Institute for Animal Agriculture which seeks collaborative efforts to keep the public informed and to highlight science-based information on various production systems.  The AGF will have a major influence on matters related to the program development for the next national goat conference which will provide the latest information on the production, marketing, and societal elements of goat products and services. 

A viable and dynamic website ( has been developed and is functioning with regular updates on activities and issues. The rolling masthead is a reminder that the AGF is about many types of goats and many types of products produced across the country. The AGF logo resulted from the tireless efforts of a Board taskforce called on to be creative and results-oriented. Yet to come will be links to recommended informational resources providing science-based information that can provide positive impact on enterprise goals, including profitability.

The Federation has been represented at selected events where the purpose and goals have been shared with goat owners across the country.  We recognize that there are many issues where our many voices will gain attention on issues such as minor species, minor-use provisions, goat husbandry and production research priorities, availability of market news, consumer options in product utilization, and global influences. We have much to do, including providing more targeted member services and broad participation. Those things will get a lot of attention during the next few months and especially at the Scottsdale meeting.  We encourage all members to attend, participate in discussions, and be willing to become engaged in our future.  Additional information will be forthcoming via the website and direct contact with member groups and individuals.   

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