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Goats take center stage this month as Commissioner Shell proclaims April as Goat Month in Kentucky



Goat producers, industry stakeholders join Commissioner at proclamation signing

 

FRANKFORT, Ky. (April 12, 2024) – Kentucky goat producers and industry stakeholders joined Commissioner of Agriculture Jonathan Shell today as he signed a proclamation declaring April as Goat Month in Kentucky.


“The diversity of goats on our agricultural landscape is one that needs to be celebrated, particularly this month,” Commissioner Shell said. “Not only do they add a uniqueness to farm life, but they are also an excellent source of protein and dairy products. This month we salute all that goats add to our state’s agricultural outlook.”


In the United States, goats are primarily used for producing dairy products, such as milk, yogurt, and cheese, and meat called chevon. Kentucky has 5,300 dairy goats producing quality breeding stock, and healthy, all natural skin products like soaps and lotions. The popularity of goat meat is increasing each year as consumers recognize its benefits. Goat meat is lean with low levels of saturated fat and cholesterol, high levels of iron, and packed with proteins and vitamins. Kentucky ranks sixth in the nation for meat goat inventory with 59,000 head. The meat goat inventory has increased 5.4 percent since 2023, being produced by 4,000 farmers.

 

In addition to their nutritious value, goats can increase property values. Across the world, farmers use them to combat noxious weeds on their property, promote healthy forests, and prevent wildfires.


“Kentucky continues to be a leader in goat production because of our abundant forages and best management practices. Over 4,000 goat producers work very hard to produce high quality products for consumers,” said Kelley Yates, executive director of the Kentucky Sheep and Goat Development Office. “We are excited to showcase the versatility of goats in Kentucky during the month of April and hope more people learn of their benefits and impact in our state.”

 

The Kentucky goat industry adds more than $3.5 million in revenue to Kentucky’s agriculture receipts. Warren County is the top county in goat production with nearly 2,800 head, followed by Crittenden, Barren, Clinton, and Nelson counties rounding out the top five.

A variety of goat products can be found at local farmers’ markets or consumers can purchase directly from a producer.The Kentucky Sheep and Goat Development Office offers information on its website with tips for cooking this lean, delicious meat. The website also offers a buyer's guide at: https://www.kysheepandgoat.org/on-your-plate.


 


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