New Goat Farmer Training Program in Oklahoma, 2012

New meat goat farmers, and those contemplating getting into goats, can fine-tune their goat game at a field day in Poteau, OK, from 8:30 - 4 on September 22, 2012. At the Kerr Center for Sustainable Agriculture's Stewardship Ranch, several speakers with deep experience in Oklahoma meat goat production will deliver a solid grounding in the basic knowledge needed to start a goat enterprise. "We want this to be a good broad overview, a good starting place for people who are looking to get into goats," says Kerr Center *livestock program assistant Erin Campbell-Craven.*

David Sparks, D.V.M., will cover reproduction and herd health. Sparks is *OSU Extension Food Animal Quality and Health Specialist, and a frequent speaker at the Kerr Center. Bucks from the operation that he manages with his wife Linda at their farm near Porum have placed and won in the Oklahoma Forage-Based Buck Test, which closes at the end of the field day with an awards ceremony and private treaty sale.* *Brian Freking, LeFlore County Extension Agriculture Educator, will review this year's test results, including weather and soil and forage test results. A panel of owners of bucks in the test will share their perspectives on avoiding mistakes in meat goat production. * *From the Kerr Center, Erin Campbell-Craven will discuss brush control and nutrition. Herdsman Andy Makovy will give an overview of fencing and watering systems.* The *Oklahoma Forage-Based Buck Test**,**now in its sixth year, is one of only a few tests nationwide that evaluates meat goats' performance on a forage-based diet. Identifying animals that perform well in those conditions helps improve profitability for commercial meat goat producers in the region.* Field day registration costs $35 and includes a lunch of barbecued goat from the Kerr Center herd. (Registration is free to owners of bucks in the test, and to students in the Oklahoma Beginning Farmer & Rancher Program.) Registration remains open until September 17, but early registration is encouraged to secure a place at this limited-attendance event. Register online at _www.kerrcenter.com, or contact Hannah Daniels at _hdaniels@kerrcenter.com or 918.647.9123. The event will be held rain or shine; wear shoes appropriate for walking in potentially muddy pastures. Lawn chairs are welcome but not required. Extensive resources on meat goat production, including reports on all years of the Oklahoma Forage-Based Buck Test, are available free from www.kerrcenter.com .

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