New Dairy Goat Website Offers Timely Resources


 A collaborative website between Iowa State University and the University of California-Davis has been created to educate dairy goat producers and veterinarians about the science behind producing high-quality goat milk.

The Dairy Goat Extension and Education website provides modules and templates for health and reproductive records, with the goal of providing resources that will launch the American dairy goat industry forward in the areas of animal and udder health, milk quality and antimicrobial stewardship.

“As we progress in enhancing the dairy goat sector to boost milk quality, these resources will offer valuable insights for goat producers to refine herd management practices, enhance communication with service providers and achieve greater efficiency and profitability while maintaining animal health,” said Jenn Bentley, dairy specialist with ISU Extension and Outreach.

The first task is improving goat milk quality by developing effective and prudent treatment programs that maintain food safety while developing an educational outreach program for producers, processors and veterinarians to help implement these strategies on-farm. 

“It has been a pleasure to work collaboratively with other universities with similar interests in improving dairy goat production,” said Bentley.

“This collaboration’s value extends well beyond the states we serve,” said Rosie Busch, sheep and goat extension veterinarian with the UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine. “It will benefit the entire dairy goat industry by providing access to reputable resources, which will help producers build meaningful relationships with their veterinarians and foster growth within the industry.”

The website can be found at Questions can be directed to [email protected]

The resources on the website were developed through the financial support of the United States Department of Agriculture’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture, Agricultural and Food Research Initiative Competitive Program, Mitigating Antimicrobial Resistance across the Food Chain.

Dairy goat numbers

According to the USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service, there are only 440,000 dairy does and kids in the United States.

Dairy operations that milk goats have been the fastest growing animal operations in the U.S. between 2007-2017.During this time, goat numbers increased most rapidly in Wisconsin and Iowa, with current numbers coming in at 82,000 and 29,000 head, respectively.

In regard to total lactating does, this makes Wisconsin and Iowa No. 1 and No. 3 in the nation, with California ranking No. 2 with 43,000 head (USDA NASS). Most dairy goat operations are very small.

Based on the 2017 USDA Ag Census, these farms average less than 50 head per farm, while a recent survey of Iowa dairy goat producers showed that the average herd size is 100-200 does per farm.

For more information, Jenn Bentley can be reached at 563-382-2949 or [email protected]

0 0 votes
Article Rating
Notify of

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments