MSU Goats Grow in Popularity as Farmers Diversify
Many farmers in the state of Mississippi who want to diversify their farming business are turning to goats. Farmers are doing this because they want to raise livestock that will supplement other income, and some with fragmented property are not able to raise cattle. Mitch Newman, Greene County agricultural agent with the Mississippi State University Extension Service says that goats are able to thrive on few acres, reproduce more quickly and mature faster if they are managed well. In the Mississippi market, goats are grown for meat, milk, hair and 4-H youth livestock projects. The demand for goats is expected to keep increasing, which is another reason many producers are adding goats to their farms. However, with the success in the goat market, one problem faces Mississippi growers: 18 percent of goats die annually due to the wet and humid climate.