Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Agricultural Economics

Document Type



This study investigates three major areas of U.S. meat goat production – goal structure, selection of breeding stock, and marketing, by using survey data received from U.S. meat goat producers. Of 1,600 producers surveyed, 584 usable responses were obtained with an adjusted response rate of 43%. The fuzzy pair-wise comparison method was used to determine producer goal structure. The results showed that profit maximization and leisure-related goals were highly considered goals and controlling weeds/vegetation and increasing farm size were the least considered goals by U.S. meat goat producers. A choice-based conjoint study was conducted to identify producer preferences for meat goat breeding stock attributes. The mixed logit results showed that producers preferred animals with high masculinity or femininity, with good structure and soundness, and the Boer breed. Furthermore, the latent class model suggested that Kiko goats were preferred by producers selling higher percentages of their animals for slaughter purposes or as meat whereas Boer goats were more likely to be preferred by breeders and/or show goat producers. Direct sale to consumer and live auction markets were two highly used marketing channels among U.S. meat goat producers. Probit results showed that several socio-economic, demographic, and farm characteristics impacted producer selection of marketing channels. Twenty-two percent of producers targeted their production for specific ethnic holiday sales. The farm size (number of animals), percentage sale of animals for slaughter purposes, and selling goat meat positively impacted the net profitability of the meat goat enterprise.



Document Availability at the Time of Submission

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Committee Chair

Gillespie, Jeffrey M.