Direct marketing meat goats from the farm to consumer

My June 2020 column referenced increased reader interest in direct marketing of meat goat slaughter animals and generated even more interest. I have updated an article that I wrote for the Goat Rancher in 2009 on this subject. It describes current opportunities and constraints you would likely encounter if you chose to sell your goats directly from the farm, either live or “dressed whole” or cut into wholesale or retail cuts or made into value-added products. I am deeply indebted to former columnist Ms. Sandra Miller, or, for permitting — in- deed, encouraging — me to borrow at will from her series of Goat Rancher articles, mostly on direct marketing of goats and goat meat, beginning in August 2008. I prefer to think she is a really nice person willing to share expertise freely rather than thinking I desper- ately need guidance to avoid grievous educational error. I am also indebted to Dr. Jeanne Dietz-Band (manyrocks- for review and helpful clarifications to this article. Like Sandra, she also practiced direct-marketing of goat meat.

Selling live goats directly from the farm The simplest way to direct-market a goat is to sell it to a cus- tomer who comes to your farm, makes a selection, pays the asking


price, puts the chosen-one in car or truck and departs. In this scenario, you and the customer both benefit in that you avoid hauling costs, commission charges and shrinkage and he/she gets a healthy, farm- fresh goat of known provenance. A slightly modified version of this sales gambit can occur if you agree to haul the goat for a fee (either overt or covert) to a nearby locker plant, or other facility, for slaughter at the direction of the new owner and at his cost. In a related strategy, a producer agrees to sell a goat to a cus-

tomer, takes the money and then allows the new owner to slaughter the goat on the farm. This may or may not be legal, depending on the particular statutes of a given state. If it is legal and if both parties agree to the disposition of the offal, then there will be no problems. Contrarily, if it is not legal, then the owner/seller is subject to legal action, not the buyer. Accordingly, the risk involved makes this an iffy alternative and disproportionately so for the owner/seller. Do not suppose that you can long “get away with” this activity; your neighbors or enemies or competitors are likely to “out” you sooner than later. Remember, too, that while you can legally slaughter your goat for your own use, you cannot slaughter your goat and sell the carcass to a customer.


Goat Rancher | July 2020

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