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Goat Group to Start Slaughter-plant Co-op
When you think "ranch" or "livestock" or even "meat," you probably don't think "goat." But a group of goat ranchers in the Washington County, Ga., area are hoping to change that.

They've taken some big steps toward starting a goat slaughter-plant cooperative that would provide farmers a stable market and supply quality meat to a growing market of ethnic consumers.

The facility, Sunbelt Goat Producers Cooperative, would be run as a new-generation co-op, said Sidney Law, Washington County coordinator of the University of Georgia Extension Service. The goat ranchers themselves would own and control it.

Feasibility Study

An economic study by the UGA Center for Agribusiness and Economic Development determined that the slaughter-plant co-op is feasible.

The co-op would give growers a stable market, Law said. And goats delivered to the slaughter plant would draw a premium price.

An organizational meeting has been set for 10 a.m. June 23 at the Washington County Farm Bureau Agriculture Center in Tennille, Ga.

Co-op members will adopt bylaws and elect officers and a board of directors at the meeting. Only members will be able to vote or become officers or board members.

Interested in Joining?

Anyone interested in joining the co-op can get an application from the Washington County Extension Service at P.O. Box 310, Sandersville, GA 31082, or from Washington County Meat Goat Association President Charles Batten at P.O. Box 934, Sandersville, GA 31082. The membership fee is $20.

Law and Batten will tell about the slaughter plant co-op June 2 at the annual Dairy Goat Show in Clarksville, Ga., at 9 a.m. at the Habersham County Fair Grounds.

For more information, call Law at (478) 552-2011 or Batten at (478) 552-1471. Or e-mail Law at

(Dan Rahn is a news editor with the University of Georgia College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences.)

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