Meat goat production has become a rapidly expanding livestock enterprise in the U.S. Many producers interested in goat production have little or no experience in agricultural production. Even producers with general livestock production skills have found it difficult to adapt to the differing production needs of a goat operation. Therefore, the Oklahoma Meat Goat Boot Camp was created. This camp is a three day workshop that combines hands-on exercises with class room presentations. Producers attending have the opportunity to perform any management practices taught on live goats. Management practices demonstrated include ear tagging, hoof trimming, castrating, herd health practices, kidding, neonatal care, marketing, FAMACHA, fecal egg counts, forage testing and management, ration balancing, reproduction, fencing, and farm business management. Responses to the workshops have been outstanding, not only in Oklahoma but across the U.S. Currently 369 producers from twenty two states have completed the boot camp. Pre and post test evaluations have shown a favorable response in knowledge gained and value of the workshop. Overall, there has been a 39.7% increase in knowledge gained and a total value of the education to the producers of $810,000 for all eight goat camps.
The next evolution of OSU meat goat education is to record camp lessons and make those recordings available on the internet through the OSU meat goat website (meatgoat.okstate.edu) and YouTube. These videos will be available to any producer for viewing at their discretion. For producers without internet access DVD’s of the recordings will be available upon request.
|2013 Extension Risk Management Education National Conference