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Introduction

The ESMGPA is not a "marketing organization." However, its membership includes numerous individuals with many years of successful marketing experience. We have collected here a number of "marketing models" that can be replicated by ESMGPA members in the Region, or on some more local scale.

Start with a working definition. Marketing: the process of locating, delivering to, and receiving payment from a buyer for a product that you have for sale. For the goat raiser, the "product" will be a live goat; even though you might deliver it as a carcass or cuts of meat. In fact, there are three main "streams" in the meat goat marketing world: (1) the "slaughter stream," and (2) "show animal" stream, and (3) the "breeding stock" stream. Producers are quite likely to market animals through all three streams.

The "Slaughter Stream"

In the "slaughter stream," market kids" is a term much used. These are castrated buck kids (wethers), intact bucklings, or doelings. They may be born any time during the year and are sold after weaning and reaching a "market weight" of 45 pounds or higher. Uncastrated buck kids up to the age of 12 months can be included in this market. Doe kids can be marketed the same way, of course; but they may be more profitably marketed as "breeding stock." Most commercial producers are selling these "market kids."

There has been historically an "Easter Kid" market in New York State. These are January or February born kids. still suckling , in the 20-45 pound range, and sold shortly before the Roman, Orthodox Greek and Russian Easters. Buyers traditionally pay a premium price for these lightweight kids.

As individuals in your herd age, have accidents, diseases , or "poor genetics' become obvious; the raiser should be "culling" unprofitable older animals. There is a market for these bucks and does over one year of  age, too.

Direct sales from the farm to the consumer can be handled in several ways. The consumer can buy the animal from you and take it home to slaughter and butcher. Or, you may provide the basic facilities for slaughter by the owner on your farm. You might accommodate the buyer by taking the animal they have purchased to a slaughter house of your mutual choice. At that point they will become responsible for paying the slaughter and cutting charges and picking up the meat from the slaughterhouse.

If you, the raiser, want to sell goat meat on the wholesale or retail basis, you will have to get the slaughtering and butchering done at a slaughter house that offers USDA meat inspection. The costs of slaughter, cutting, and wrapping will have to be built into your wholesale or retail selling price. It is difficult to market fresh goat meat unless you are selling through an outlet where there is high demand and rapid turnover. many wholesalers and retailers market frozen goat meat.

You may utilize a "middle-man" of some sort. The "middle-man" might be a licensed dealer, a company, or a cooperative, that collets animals from many sources and holds them for resale alive or slaughtered. These middle-men take your live animal and move it along to the consumer. Some dealers are located geographically near large populations of goat meat buyers. These are ethnic populations who may buy goat meat the year around, but are particularly interested in buying at certain identifiable religious holiday seasons. Some dealers will pick up live animals at your farm (planning a route to include you and other nearby raisers). many dealers will pay a premium if you bring your live animals to them. They then sell directly to consumers, or hold the animals for buyers who come from live animal markets in the city or to buyers who represent a slaughterhouse which sells to butchers in the urban areas. Some meat goat producers who live considerable distances from the urban centers have formed marketing pools. Market ready animals are collected at some central local point and then transported to a buyer in the city or a buyer may bring trucking out to pick up the animals. Some raisers have taken this a step further and formed more permanent marketing coops. In some cases the animals are slaughtered locally and their carcasses shipped to contracted restaurants or butcher shops on a regular basis and sometimes there are special shipments at ethnic holiday times.

You can take animals to area livestock auction houses. To be profitable to you, your animals need to be put up for auction on a day when there are buyers of goats present in competitive numbers. Such ad day is not always easy to identify beforehand. Local groups of raiser have negotiated with specific auction houses to have special goat sale days. On those days goat buyers are encouraged to attend and goats may be grouped by age and sold by grades. Of course you will have to provide transpiration for you animals to the auction center.

The "Show Animal" Stream

Many goat raisers enjoy the excitement, camaraderie, and competition of the "show circuit." Most youth programs, such as the 4-H goat program, involve multiple aspects of goat raising, including fitting and showing. Besides showing opportunities at local fairs and the NYS Fair, ESMGPA members participate in Regional shows, state shows, and broad regional shows. Some of these shows are sanctioned by organizations, such as the American Meat Goat Association: or by specific breed associations like the American Boer Goat Association and the International Boer Goat Association. These shows usually have open classes for market wethers as well as classes for purebred stock. Goat raisers producing high quality goats at all levels may find buyers who wish to show these animals. "Showring" is also good way to advertise your animals and your goat raising operation.

The "Breeding Stock" Stream

Whether you are raising purebred animals, registered high percentage animals, or have a quality meat goat herd; there is a market for your animals as breeding stock. Mature does and doelings are currently in high demand as raisers expand their herd and new goat raising operations get underway. There is also a regular demand for quality  full blood bucks and high % bucks and bucklings of good size, conformation, and promise. you can advertise here on this ESMGPA website. You can enroll and advertise on the Cornell University Sheep and Goat Marketing website, SRMarketing. you can advertise in farm publications such as "country Folk" (a free subscription with your membership in ESMGPA). The Farm Bureau's publication; "Gassroots," carries free ads for members. Breed journals will be happy to place an ad for you. Exhibiting at shows will give you and your animals exposure to other goat producers and will establish beneficial word-of-mouth advertising. Dealers who recognize that you are producing quality animals for slaughter or breeding may "spread the word" for you. Where there are 4-H Goat Programs occurring, market wethers and breeding does for participating youth are in demand. Purebred raisers may have annual sales or occasional "Productions Sales" that might accept animals from you. Generally speaking, more money can be made by selling animals as breeding stock than by sending them to the meat market.

Conclusion

A number of factors contribute to successful marketing. Some are with the procurer's control and some are not. Geographic location in relation ship to buyers (be they consumers or distributors) is important. Your ability to develop good working relationships with other producers, buyers and consumers will contribute to a profitable operation. Of course, the quality of your product will affect how much it is desired by both middle-men and the ultimate consumer. Consult with experienced raisers who have operations similar to what you are planning. but, also think "out of the box" and be creative.

You will want to explore "marketing" in greater depth than this summary provides. Look over the attached list of internet "links," think through which marketing models might work for you, and continue your research along those lines.

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