BRIAR CREEK FARM EARNS DAIRY GOAT PRODUCER CERTIFICATION
New producers, as well as some established producers, have an expressed need for current, correct information on how to raise goats and produce safe, wholesome products in demand by the public. Information is needed in all areas, from basic housing and management to nutrition, herd health, reproductive issues, marketing, product safety, and value-added products. According to Langston University's Agricultural Research and Extension Department, goats are considered a minor species by many. As such, little goat information is included in curriculum designed to educate students who then may work in the public arena disseminating information to producers.
Many producers also obtain information from the Internet. While proper, science-based information does exist on the internet, producers with little to no livestock experience have no background to discern "good" versus "bad" information. In some cases, information posted could be harmful to animals and to the economic viability of goat enterprises. The lack of information available to goat producers also extends to printed media. As the goat industry grows and evolves, a quality assurance program is essential. Such a program ensures the production of a safe, healthy product that satisfies consumers and increases profit for the production industry.
To help with this situation, Langston University has created a training and certification program. Topics in this certification course include basic information on management, reproduction, nutrition, and health, among others, as well as information on topics needed by dairy goat producers including legal issues of dairy goat farming, financial issues, marketing, and quality assurance. Further, for newer producers modules on making goat milk cheese, soap, and yogurt can add fun to their endeavors, become a hobby, or a potential source of income.
Briar Creek Farm strives to keep its goat herd healthy and to only provide quality products. As such, Bobbette Fagel, managing partner of Briar Creek Farm, worked diligently to educate herself and pass the certification exams required to earn the designation of Certified Dairy Goat Producer designation.