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Demographic factors of meat goat producers completing an online certification program

T. A. Gipson, R.C . Merkel, and T. Sahlu

Journal of Animal Science 89(E-Supplement 2):402. 2011

In 2006, an on-line training program for meat goat producers was unveiled, consisting of 22 learning modules (http://www2.luresext.edu/goats/training/qa.html). Participants take a pre-test for each module and if a score of 85% or greater is recorded, the post-test is not required. If required, participants may retake the post-test until a passing score of 85% or greater is achieved. For certification, passing scores are required on all 16 required modules and a minimum of 3 elective modules. Demographic data are collected upon enrollment. Participants had the option of not responding to certain demographic questions and those observations were removed from this analysis. As of the end of 2010, 198 of 1,430 enrollees successfully completed the certification program, with 182 from the US and 16 from foreign countries. For those 182 certified in the US, a higher percentage (62%, ?2 = 143.2, P < 0.01) was from the South than from any other region, followed by 22, 12, and 4% from the Midwest, West, and Northeast, respectively. All certified producers reported their gender and there were more males (60% vs. 40%, ?2 = 8.1, P < 0.01) than females. Of the certified, 92% responded to the question on race, and an overwhelming percentage classified themselves as white (89%, ?2 = 686.5, P < 0.01 for equal proportions); however, this is similar to the US population as a whole (89% vs. 80%, ?2 = 0.1, P = 0.73). The response to a question on farm size was 88%; 9% owned < 2 ha, 43% 2-8 ha, 14% 9-16 ha, 13% 17-32 ha, 9% 33-65 ha, 8% 66-130 ha, and 4% > 130 ha (?2 = 162.5, P < 0.01). An 84% of the certified responded to a question on occupation; 78% were part-time farmers and 22% were full-time (?2 = 53.2, P < 0.01). The response of those certified to a query on herd size was 82%, with 46% owning less than 25 goats, 29% 25-49, 16 % 50-99, 6% 100-250, and 3% greater than 250 (?2 = 103.9, P < 0.01). Demographics indicate that the typical certified participant is a white male living in the southern US and farming part-time with less than 25 goats on 2-8 ha.


 

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