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Farm Direct

A Growing Demand for Goat Meat

A boom in demand and an economic need to diversify has many Georgians looking to produce goat meat.

"The goat meat market went down when the economy tanked," says Georgia Extension agent Lucy Ray, "but it seems to be coming back fairly strong. I had a producer tell me that it's as
strong now as it ever was."




Goat meat production in Georgia is increasing thanks to the influx of people from Hispanic and Caribbean countries and those of Muslim faith. Goats were a $16.4 million business in 2009, almost $10 million more than in 2001.

Hispanics are the fastest growing minority group in Georgia, said UGA Extension livestock economist Curt Lacy. Eight percent of people in Georgia are now Hispanic or of Hispanic decent. Muslims make up 2.1 percent of the state's population, and most of them are African-Americans.

"Everybody in the world eats goats except us," says Washington County Extension coordinator Sidney Law. "In Atlanta, 2,500 goats are eaten weekly by somebody."

Producers only need between 5 and 15 acres to raise goats, Lacy said. He added that the increase in goat farming is partly due to the "whole movement of going back to simpler, smaller farms, old-school type of food and a renewal and interest in all different
types of foods.

"And when you watch Food Network and see people mention goat meat or goat cheese, there's suddenly an interest there." 

Source: University of Georgia Extension; 
Meat Production in Georgia

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