Date of Graduation

Winter 2018

Degree

Master of Science, Agriculture

Department

Animal Science

Committee Chair

Elizabeth Walker

Keywords

goats, focus groups, Missouri, production, producers, survey

Abstract

This study was conducted to better understand opportunities and challenges for Missouri meat goat producers. The meat goat industry is expanding and is one of the fastest growing segments of livestock production in the United States, both in inventory and markets for products produced from goats. This study used focus groups as a way to determine what a sampling of producers in Missouri see as opportunities and challenges based on themes and patterns found in the focus groups. The participants in the three focus groups did not always agree with the literature, but they did see the following as opportunities in the meat goat industry: rising demand for goat meat, use of goats for brush control, and multispecies grazing. The participants indicatedcontrol of internal parasites, marketing goat meat, and limited expertise and information as challenges. The prolific nature of goats, being less labor intensive and having a low startup cost were mixed among participants as opportunities or challenges. Further research needs to be conducted to determine where the Missouri meat goat industry is headed.

Copyright

© Samantha N. Riley

Open Access

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