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Participant demographics of a web-based certification program for meat goat producers

R.C. Merkel, T.A. Gipson, S.P. Hart, and T. Sahlu

Journal of Animal Science 85(Supplement 1):503. 2007

In 2006, a Langston University-led consortium of 11 universities and 5 meat goat producer groups unveiled an on-line training and certification program (http://www2.luresext.edu/training/qa.html). The program consists of 22 learning modules. Participants take pre- and post-tests to pass the 16 required and a minimum of 3 elective modules for certification. As of February, 2007, 256 participants from 9 countries (US 245, Canada 3, India 2, Australia, Jamaica, Malaysia, Nigeria, Pakistan, Romania 1 each) have registered for the program. Thirty-nine states are represented with the top 5 states representing 55% of total participants (OK 59, MO 24, TX 20, TN and KS 16 each). Sixty-five percent of respondents classified themselves as part-time farmers/ranchers, 19% full time, and 16% no response. Fifty-one percent classified farm size as less than 40 acres and only 16% > 160 acres. Average herd size for 54% of respondents was 49 or fewer animals (34% < 25 goats). Only 13% of respondents owned >100 goats. Males comprised 56% of participants and females 37%, with the remainder not responding. Sixty-three percent of respondents reported membership in the American Boer Goat Association; 16% American Meat Goat Association; 13% American Kiko Goat Association; 6% U.S. Boer Goat Association; and 4% International Kiko Goat Association. Demographic data suggest that an on-line certification program is an acceptable method to provide information to smallholder meat goat producers.


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