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Youth Programs

Small Ruminant Youth Programs

Club Goat

Photo of goat.

Dramatic growth in meat goat numbers has taken place in the Southeastern U.S. over the past 25 years. This growth filtered over into the junior livestock program and meat goats were added as project animals to teach life skills to young people. This addition created a demand for show quality club goats to be used in the junior livestock program. As a result, high quality club goats demand top prices as project animals. Market goats can be of any breed or cross breed of goat with the Boer crosses being the most preferred. Over the years a genetic base of meat goats phenotypically selected for the junior program has evolved. The opportunity to create a market for meat goats and provide a service to young people could never have come at a better time for Mississippi goat breeders. Market goats were added to the Mississippi 4-H Livestock Program in 1999 at the district show level prior to being added to the state level.

The Dixie National Round-Up in February is the most important show for market goat exhibitors in Mississippi. Market meat goats were added to Junior Roundup in 2001, with 67 total head exhibited. The champion goats were included in the Sale of Junior Champions at Dixie National in 2002. The Grand Champion that year sold for $2,862 and the Reserve Grand Champion sold for $2,400. Today all division champions are eligible for the sale as well as the Champion and Reserve Champion MS Bred market goat. A commercial meat goat doe show was added to the livestock program in 2009. MCGA sponsors additional premiums and awards to be earned on MS Bred goats showing in the State Fair and Dixie National Junior Round Up each year. Each exhibitor is allowed to show three head of market goats at Round Up provided one is MS Bred. Exhibitors can show up to six head of commercial does at Round Up.

The commercial meat goat industry in Mississippi is still growing with all classes of goats bringing extremely good prices. By industry standards, commercial market goats are ready for harvest at a weight somewhere from 40 to 100 pounds depending on the targeted market, with highest prices usually paid at the 60 to 80 pound weight range. Prices may vary based on size, breed type, sex, condition and weight. The market meat goat show follows this trend with top quality animals standing at the top of each division. The commercial doe show reflects the breeding side of the club goat project with those females projected to produce ideal club goat wethers placing at the top of these divisions.

Extra income derived from club goat sales is usually above expected income for any traditional market goat enterprise. Today, club goat prospects can sell for $500 or more at 8 to 10 weeks of age depending on quality. This extra value is dependent upon a demand for quality genetics that can provide a project animal which will last for the duration of the show year. Wethers (castrated males) or does (females) are eligible to show at the Dixie National Junior Round-Up market goat show, but market goats must be disbudded or have no more horn growth than 1 ½” above the skull. Does can only show in one show (either market or commercial doe). Does showing in the commercial meat goat doe show are allowed to have horns.

Visit the Mississippi Club Goat Association FaceBook page for more information.

Mississippi Bred Goat Program

The Mississippi Bred Goat Program is administered by the Mississippi Club Goat Association. This program was established to reward exhibitors for showing MS Bred goats. Breeders must purchase tags for each goat they intend to nominate for awards. (Forms are available from MCGA for tag purchase as well as replacement tags.) This money goes into a fund to be paid out to exhibitors based upon placing in the shows. Mississippi Club Goat Association pays premiums in the classes and rewards overall champions from this fund. All money received from the sale of MS Bred ear tags each year is given back to exhibitors as an additional premium or award. MS Bred ear tags must be in the ear of the nominated goat prior to ownership deadline. This is to insure that the goat has a tag at the time of nomination/retinal imaging for proper identification.

Visit the Mississippi Club Goat Association FaceBook page for more information.

Junior Meat Goat Program Overview

In Mississippi, market meat goats should be ready for harvest in terms of condition and arrive at their terminal show (Dixie National) at an ideal market weight range of 60 to 100 pounds to be competitive and to fit within industry standards.

For the Dixie National shows in February, a March/April born goat should meet ideal weight if carrying a high percent Boer influence. A February/March born kid may work better when there is less Boer influence genetics.

Ideally a market meat goat should not have shed the temporary incisors (milk teeth) prior to harvest or their final market show. A commercial meat doe kid must have retained their milk teeth or have no permanent incisors visible at the District show.

Both wether and doe kids are eligible to show in the market meat goat shows in Mississippi. However, the same doe kid cannot be shown in both the market and the commercial meat doe shows.

Market meat goats and commercial meat does can be of any breed or cross breed of goat with the Boer cross being the most preferred by meat goat exhibitors.

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Publications

Publication Number: P2289
Publication Number: 5773
Publication Number: P2264
Publication Number: P2211

News

Filed Under: Goats and Sheep August 2, 2017

COLUMBUS, Miss. -- Goat and sheep producers in Mississippi are invited to attend a Small Ruminant Management and FAMACHA Training workshop later this month.

FAMACHA is an acronym for the Faffa Malan Chart, a system goat and sheep producers use to treat stock against barber pole worm. The workshop, hosted by the Mississippi State University Extension Service, begins at 6 p.m. Aug. 15 at the Lowndes County Extension office on 485 Tom Rose Road in Columbus.

Dewayne Smith checks one of his goats at his Greene County, Mississippi, farm Oct. 13, 2014. Smith is one of several Mississippi farmers diversifying their farming businesses by adding meat goats. (Photo by MSU Ag Communications/Kevin Hudson)
Filed Under: Goats and Sheep October 15, 2014

RAYMOND -- Goats are growing in popularity among Mississippi livestock producers who have limited acreage or want to diversify their farming business.

“Since 2012, the overall number of meat goats in the southeastern region of the state has increased,” said Mitch Newman, Greene County agricultural agent with the Mississippi State University Extension Service. “More small farmers want to raise livestock to supplement other income, and some landowners have fragmented property, which makes raising cattle unrealistic.”

Calhoun County 4-H member Mikayla Shelton prepares her Mississippi-bred grand champion light heavyweight goat, Ready Or Not, for his turn in the show ring at the Dixie National Sale of Champions Feb. 6 in Jackson. The 44 market goats, lambs, steers and hogs brought a preliminary total of $369,150, setting a new record. (Photo by MSU Ag Communications/Susan Collins-Smith)
Filed Under: 4-H, Youth Livestock, Goats and Sheep February 7, 2014

JACKSON – Young Mississippians took about 3,000 animals to Jackson to show at the Dixie National Livestock Show, but only 44 animals were judged worthy of competing in the annual Sale of Junior Champions.

Mikayla Shelton is one of hundreds of Mississippi youth who groom their goats, lambs, steers and hogs all year long in hopes they make it to the sale, and after five years of competing, the Calhoun County 4-H’er finally earned the spot she had coveted for so long.

Christian Thornton, left, shows a goat with support from Lafredrick Leggett, Dykarius Arrington and Clarke County 4-H Livestock Club member Jesse Miller during the Clarke County 4-H Special Needs Livestock Show Jan. 17 in Quitman. (Photo by MSU Ag Communications/Susan Collins-Smith)
Filed Under: Goats and Sheep, Family January 17, 2014

QUITMAN – When January rolls around, Clarke County 4-H’ers start lining up at Christy King’s door to participate in the livestock show for 4-H members with special needs.

“It’s so popular I have a waiting list,” said King, who is an agent with the Mississippi State University Extension Service in Clarke County.

The event pairs members of the Clarke County 4-H Livestock Club with local youth who have special needs. The show began 16 years ago but ended in 2003 when the original participants became adults.

Debbie Huff and her youngest son, John Mark, prepare goat cheese in their kitchen. The Huffs' four sons show dairy goats in 4-H and also make and sell goats' milk products.
Filed Under: Agriculture, Livestock, Goats and Sheep April 19, 2012

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Goats remain a niche segment of the state’s livestock production, but they have a strong fan base.

“Meat goats make up most of the goat herd in Mississippi and in the nation,” said Kipp Brown, area 4-H livestock agent and meat goat specialist with Mississippi State University Extension Service.

Bill Ryals and his son raise meat and dairy goats at the Rocking R Dairy in Tylertown.

Contact Your County Office

Your Extension Experts

Extension Associate III
Small Ruminants/4-H Livestock/Judging Team Coordinator/SARE Associate