Take a Peek at the Details of Goat Farming in the U.S.
When the conversation turns to livestock, it’s usually dairy cows and beef cattle that are the focus, but there are many other types of livestock. With goat farming on the rise, goats are another kind of livestock that you may have been hearing more about. Explore the basics of goat farming and its many forms below.
Goat Farming Basics
There has been a steady increase in goat farming in the U.S., according to an Agriculture Marketing Resource Center commodity overview (AgMRC). According to the AgMRC overview, there are many products created from goats that are in-demand, making goat farming a desirable livestock enterprise.
There are three main types of goat farming:
- Dairy Goats. The demand for both goat milk and goat cheese, called chevre, has increased steadily as consumers see goat dairy products meet their desire for high-protein, low-cholesterol dairy products. According to the AgMRC overview on dairy goats, dairy goats in 2017 numbered 373,000. The states with the most dairy goat farming were Wisconsin, California, Iowa, Pennsylvania, and New York, though every state in the country has dairy goat operations.
- Goats for Fiber. Goat farming can also include the production of fiber, both mohair and cashmere. These two fibers are both in demand, with cashmere used to create high-end luxury goods. Most fiber production is in addition to goat farming for either dairy or meat, according to the AgMRC overview on goat fiber.
- Meat Goats. Goats can also be raised for meat, called cabrito or chevon. There is a steady demand in the U.S. for goat meat for ethnic dishes, though the desire for lean cuts of meat that are low in fat and cholesterol like goat meat increases demand as well. The AgMRC overview on meat goat production cites NASS data in maintaining that the U.S. had 1.3 million head of meat goats in 2016.
At AgAmerica Lending, we utilize our custom loan packages for livestock operators big and small, including those in goat farming. Contact us today to see how our loan packages can grow your agribusiness.