Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Agricultural Economics

Document Type



The meat goat industry is one of the fastest growing agricultural sectors in the United States. However, there has been limited research on consumers’ preferences for goat meat; therefore, a choice experiment was used to assess consumer preferences for goat meat and/or live goats. A national online survey was conducted from April 27, 2012 to May 4, 2012. Respondents were asked to complete either the goat meat choice experiment, live goat choice experiment or both. In addition to the choice experiment, respondents answered a set of questions about goat meat consumption and purchasing behavior as well as demographics. The attributes that consumers evaluated for the goat meat choice experiment included, cut, color, source and price. The attributes that consumers evaluated for the live goat choice experiment included, age, sex, slaughter method, and price. The results revealed that goat meat consumers preferred chops and cubes over whole and half carcasses. The attribute, color, was not as important to consumers’ choice as hypothesized, in the estimated models the attribute was statistically insignificant or had a small effect on preference. Goat meat consumers valued domestic over imported goat meat. The random parameters logit model and latent class logit model revealed heterogeneous preferences. In the latent class model, age, gender, and consumption frequency did fairly well in defining the class; however, overall the demographic variables failed to distinctly characterize the classes. The results from the live goat choice experiment revealed that age and slaughter method were the most important attributes to consumers. These consumers valued younger goats and preferred to have the farmer to perform the slaughter.



Document Availability at the Time of Submission

Release the entire work immediately for access worldwide.

Committee Chair

Harrison, R. Wes