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Recently, we received an inquiry asking our opinion on the value of membership in the American Meat Goat Association.  One consequence of this inquiry was that we were forced to organize our thoughts on the subject in order to reply.  After doing this we decided it might make sense to share it with others who might have similar questions.
Yes, we are AMGA members and believe that there are several benefits to belonging to the American Meat Goat Association. 
  1. Most importantly, the AMGA is the only organization that maintains an active presence in Washington, D.C. testifying, lobbying and consulting about goat production in the US.  As you may be aware, goats are marginalized in American agriculture because they do not easily fit the mass production mold of poultry, cattle and pork.  Consequently, we, as goat producers, often are excluded from agricultural bills such as Country Of Origin Labeling and inclusion as a species in veterinary testing. This representation is critical for the success of goat production in all areas as the commercial market is the foundation for all goat production, for example, the ratite business never established a national commercial market.  How many ostrich shows do you hear about around the country today?
  2. Active membership brings you into contact with some of the largest and most knowledgeable goat producers in the country covering all breeds and combinations.
  3. The trade journal of the AMGA, The Goat Rancher, contains valuable informative articles, market reports, breeder lists and other current information on the state of goat production and marketing in the United States.
  4. It provides multiple outlets to make your business known to others and encourages trade among association members.
  5. On a personal basis, it provides an opportunity for social intercourse with people sharing common interests.

AMGA website address: 

AMGA email address:

Dan was elected to the Board of Directors at the 2006 Annual Meeting.

This is a recent Press Release from the AMGA and gives a good overview of the Association

 The American Meat Goat Association was formed in 1992 as a response to the burgeoning demand for goat meat and the rising interest in meat goat production.  The objective of the Association was, and is, to promote meat goats as a viable source of long-term, stable income in agricultural operations; to establish group breeding plans for the improvement of meat goats; and to enhance consumer demand at the retail level.

 One of the first requirements for the young meat goat industry was to establish itself as a legitimate part of American Agriculture.  This has been an uphill climb as the cultural bias of northern Europe and northern North America has led to marginalization of the meat goat industry.  Laws concerning livestock tended to exclude goats or lump them with sheep, a very different animal; there were virtually no pharmaceuticals produced for goats at that time; and marketing was a major problem.  Very little happens quickly at the national level and all of the above concerns still merit attention but thanks, in part, to the efforts of the AMGA, Minor Use for the Minor Species (MUMS) national legislation helped increase the legal availability of drugs for veterinary use with “minor species”.  This bill has been passed so that vets and producers are no longer reduced to guessing what medications might be appropriate for goats.  COOL, Country Of Origin Labeling is still under consideration but, thanks to the efforts of the AMGA, legislators are becoming aware of the potential impact on American goat meat producers and producers of goat dairy products, that the importation of goat meat from new, potentially giant producers of meat goats such as China and South America could have if they should flood the country with imports that are not clearly labeled.  National legislation is also under consideration to allow meat inspected in state inspection facilities to legally cross state lines which would be a great boon to small meat goat producers.  The AMGA has been tireless in the quest to legitimize the meat goat industry nationally and is the only organization recognized by the federal government as representing the meat goat industry.

 The Association has developed standards for meat goats, irrespective of breed, to help insure not only “meatiness” but also a fit and healthy goat, capable of reproducing itself in commercial operations, an absolute necessity for long term, stable production.  It also provides a certification program for meat goat judges to help establish uniformity in meat goat shows as meat goats increasingly join other livestock as show animals at state and county fairs. AMGA was instrumental in the establishment of the first meat goat buck performance test with ASU and Texas A&M University as well as being supportive of programs at those and other universities including Langston University and Fort Valley State.  AMGA has also assisted in the development of programs for the promotion of meat goats by the breed registries, most notably the Boer goat associations since they have been the most pro-active meat goat breed segment. 

 The great influx of immigrants from goat eating parts of the world has driven the demand for goat meat beyond the limits of goat meat supply, even with imports, at this time but the gradual acceptance of goat meat by the mainstream American public is more a function of the ever increasing popularity of market wether shows, an activity strongly encouraged by the AMGA, resulting in an ever increasing number of goats arriving at the traditional American family farm.

 If you have an interest in goats, join the AMGA today to help the Association work for the meat goat industry.  If you are a goat producer, join to work with the AMGA in bringing the meat goat industry to its rightful position in American Agriculture.

 More about the American Meat Goat Association, including tasty recipes for goat meat, may be found at  and you may join online or download forms and mail your application. 


Dan & Paula Lane
Copyright © 2005 [Bountiful Farm]. All rights reserved.

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