Why do farmers decide to produce meat goats? Evidence from the United States

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© 2016, Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht. This paper addresses the reasons why US meat goat producers selected to engage in meat goat production. A mail survey of US meat goat producers was conducted. Potential reasons for entering meat goat production included those associated with lifestyle, farm management, productivity, and economics. Reasons for entering meat goat production were assessed and analyzed using ordered probit models. The most important reasons for entering meat goat production included enjoyment working with goats, goat production fitting well into the farm management plan, goats could be raised on a relatively small acreage, goat grazing preferences were different from other species, and the family could be involved in the goat enterprise. The 12th and 13th most important reasons were goat production profitability and low cost associated with purchasing and raising goats. Larger-scale farmers were more likely to have selected meat goat production for profitability and productivity reasons while smaller-scale farmers were more likely to have selected it for lifestyle reasons. Farmer demographics, farm characteristics, and farm location also impacted reasons why the farmer selected the goat enterprise. Results have implications for development of the meat goat industry.

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Agriculture and Human Values

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