Wednesday, January 17, 2024

Penn State offers home-study goat course

 UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Meat-goat producers looking for information on how to make their livestock enterprise more profitable can take advantage of a home-study course offered by Penn State Extension this winter.

The course, which begins Feb. 7, will cover profit-enhancing production principles for raising meat goats. Lessons are available through email and the internet or through conventional mail delivery. The course contains six weekly lessons.

Lesson topics include production basics, nutrition, health, reproduction, marketing and financial issues. Each lesson offers information about the topic and a worksheet for producers to complete and email or mail back to Penn State Extension educators for comments. Producers also can submit questions they would like to have answered.

An additional feature is the option to join three Zoom meetings to review course materials and worksheet questions and answers. Participants can access Zoom meetings by computer or phone.

“This course is a great way for producers to learn new information without having to rearrange their schedules to accommodate a meeting,” said Melanie Barkley, senior livestock extension educator based in Bedford County, who is coordinating the course. “Producers can study the lessons at their leisure in their own home. The courses are designed for beginning producers and for established producers who wish to improve production and management skills.”

Worksheet questions are designed to help producers analyze their current operations. Course instructors include Barkley, Dulcie Christman, extension educator based in Greene County, and Chelsea Hill, extension educator based in Wayne County. Educators will address comments to participants’ individual situations to better help them improve their management skills.

“Producers’ past comments following completion of the course show that information offered in the course was very beneficial for them,” Barkley said. “Producers are able to adapt the information for use in their own operations.”

For more details or to sign up for a course, visit or call 877-345-0691.

To speak to one of the instructors, contact the Penn State Extension office in Bedford County at 814-623-4800, in Greene County at 724-892-8026, or in Wayne County at 570-253-5970, ext. 4110.


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