Commissioner Quarles celebrates April as Goat Month in Kentucky
Producers, stakeholders attend proclamation signing
FRANKFORT (April 18, 2022) - Kentucky goat producers and industry stakeholders joined Commissioner of Agriculture Dr. Ryan Quarles today as he signed a proclamation declaring April as Goat Month in Kentucky.
“Creating diversity in our livestock throughout the commonwealth is key to keeping relevant in today’s consumer trends,” Commissioner Quarles said. “Goats add that variety, along with being an excellent source of protein and dairy products. This month we salute the diversity goat adds to our state’s agricultural outlook.”
In the United States, goats are primarily used for producing dairy products, such as milk, yogurt, and cheese. But 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.
Its popularity is increasing across the country, and in Kentucky. With more than 60,000 head of meat goats in the commonwealth, Kentucky ranks seventh nationally. Since the late 1990s, the goat production in Kentucky has increased by 500 percent, with 4,300 farmers having goats on their farms.
In addition to their nutritious value, goats can increase property values. Across the world, farmers use goats to combat noxious weeds on their property, promote healthy forests, and prevent wildfires.
“With more than 12 million acres of agriculture land in Kentucky, the commonwealth is home to 60,000 head of goats and more than 4,000 goat producers who are dedicated to producing 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 $4 million in revenue to Kentucky’s agriculture receipts. Warren County is the top county in goat production with nearly 2,500 head, followed by Crittenden, Barren, Shelby, and Hart 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’s website offers a variety of resources including a producer directory, marketing resources, as well as tips on how to prepare the lean meat and other goat products at: https://www.kysheepandgoat.org/on-your-plate.