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Serious Business Underlying 'Goat-a-Rama'
To most people at the sixth Goat-a-Rama April 6 in Tennille, Ga., the annual festivities will be fun. But a lot of serious business will be going on during this one.

Goat producers from several states will be coming in to check on the new Sunbelt Goat Producers Cooperative. Many will be buying stock.

"That's the big thing at the Goat-a-Rama this year," said Sidney Law, the Extension Service coordinator in Washington County.

New Co-op Selling Shares

The new co-op will be selling shares during the Goat-a-Rama, with a new goat and sheep slaughter plant nearing completion and expected to be up and running in June.

"Some people have been wanting to wait and see how this thing is going to go," Law said. "But there's a limit to the number of animals that can go through the plant."

Shareholders will have to commit to selling goats to the "new generation" co-op, based on the number of shares they have. In turn, the co-op will be obligated to buy the ranchers' goats at a premium price.

"Ranchers will have a firm market for their goats and will also share in the co-op's profits," Law said. "Ranchers won't have to be members of the co-op to sell goats there, but they'll profit more if they are."

Goat-a-Rama 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Attended annually by more than 1,000 people, the Goat-a-Rama will begin at 9 a.m. April 6 at the Farm Bureau Ag Center in Tennille. It will end at 4 p.m. Admission is free.

The event will include:

  • Tours of the new slaughter plant.
  • Seminars and demonstrations for goat ranchers.
  • Food preparation demonstrations.
  • Private-treaty goat sales.
  • Trade show and educational exhibits.
  • Youth show goat clinic.
  • Goat meat lunch prepared by professionals.
  • Door prizes.
"Newcomers and veteran ranchers alike will find plenty of value in the Goat-a-Rama this year," Law said.

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

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