Production information needs of American Boer Goat Association members in the Midwestern United States
The goat industry in the United States is growing. The low input costs of production (USDA, 2005) has attributed to the gaining popularity of goats to producers in developed countries, such as the United States. With this growth comes a demand for a quality product to allow producers to compete in a growing world market. Without timely and adequate information producers could get pushed out of the market because of a less than standard product.
The purpose of this study was to determine the adequacy in terms of quality and quantity of the goat production information available to producers. This study was also conducted to report the demographics of American Boer Goat Association members in the Midwestern United States; determine the knowledge level of goat producers in regards to the goat industry; and determine the barriers that are limiting respondents' operations. Additionally, this study sought to identify the perceived level of preference for delivery/method and level of goat production information materials used in the industry currently, as well as what goat producers would like to see in the future. Producers were also asked which production categories they would like to see additional research information.
The population (N=944) for this study consisted of American Boer Goat Association members in the Midwestern United States. A random sample (n=300) was drawn from the population to complete a researcher-developed, baseline survey instrument. Results from the study suggested that producers do not find the amount of goat production information adequate to meet their needs. Producers suggested that there should be more goat information in all production information categories, especially health, marketing, meat production and quality, and nutrition. The Internet is the most frequently utilized resource by respondents to this study, and should be utilized for further goat production information distribution to producers. This study should be replicated in other regions of the United States due to different types of resources and production systems. Different goat associations should also conduct further research to determine if the needed goat production information is the same as it is for the American Boer Goat Association members in the Midwestern United States or if there are significant differences.