Iowa seminar explores goat meat production for niche markets
April 16, 2004:
MARSHALLTOWN, Iowa: Eric Finch had no idea that
a nanny goat his wife brought home from a veterinary clinic
where she worked would help them launch a profitable farm
business. Two years later with a herd of 170, he is selling
about 300 feeder goats annually, which is still not enough
to supply a niche market that serves Iowa's growing ethnic
offerings in the seminar series are:
• June 24, Plant pathologist Dean Reynolds,
Intro to Bio Pest Management,
7-9 p.m., Room 801, Iowa Valley Continuing
Education Center, Marshalltown.
• July 13, Plant pathologist Dean Reynolds,
Wild Edible and Medicinal Plants,
6-9 p.m., Room 805, Iowa Valley Continuing
Education Center, Marshalltown.
• July 24, Leopold Center director Fred
Kirschenmann, An Introduction to Sustainable
Agriculture, Grimes Farm, 2359 233rd
Street, Marshall County. The presentation
will be given twice during the Practical Farmers
of Iowa field day at that location.
Finch will share his experiences May 4 during a workshop series offered by Iowa
Valley Continuing Education in Marshalltown. The series,
co-sponsored by the Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture
and Practical Farmers of Iowa, will explore sustainable
and entrepreneurial agriculture opportunities in central
Finch sells directly to customers in Marshalltown and
Des Moines, and to clients as far away as Perry and Tama.
Although most of his time is spent in conventional agriculture
with a family row-crop and farrow-to-finish hog operation
near Collins, Finch says the goat meat business is growing
faster than anything else.
"There's a huge market right now," Finch said.
"We don't realize it in Iowa with other options for
meat, but two-thirds of the world's population eats goat
In Iowa, goat is the "meat of choice" among
many Hispanic populations, and also for immigrants from
Bosnia, Sudan and other African, Middle Eastern and East
European countries. Preferred are younger, recently weaned
animals in the 40- to 60-pound range. In stores where
goat meat is available, Finch said the product often is
shipped from Chicago and ranges in price from $2.50 to
more than $3 a pound.
"We just happened to stumble upon this business two
years ago," Finch said. "And it's turned out
to be a nice side income for us."
The seminar will explore various aspects of raising feeder
goats including nutritional requirements, parasite control,
vaccination schedules, breeds and marketing options. Finch
also will host a July 17 field day at his farm with other
members of the Iowa Meat Goat Association. Although the
group was organized less than six months ago, it already
has 65 members, he said.
The May 4 seminar will begin at 7 p.m. in Room 614 of
the Iowa Valley Continuing Education Center on the campus
of Marshalltown Community College. There is a $10 registration
fee. For more information, contact Iowa Valley Continuing
Education, (641) 752-4645, or go to www.iowavalley.com.
404 Not Found
Affordable, Reliable Web Hosting Solutions.
404 Error File Not Found
The page you are looking for might have been removed, had its name changed, or is temporarily unavailable.