Goat projects of many kinds are available to New York youth ages 5-19. Youth can choose to work on projects featuring dairy goats, meat goats, or fiber goats. They can also do working goat projects, learning how to drive or use goats as pack animals. Goats can be multi-use and fun for the whole family!
Depending on the project chosen, the time and facilities investment can vary. A meat goat project lasts one season, while a dairy goat or breeding project may last many years and require investment in appropriate year-round facilities for your goat. There are many resources below to help you choose the right project and type of goat for you and your family.
For more information on how to get started, contact your county CCE office.
Owning a goat is a serious commitment! They live about as long as a large dog. Please keep this in mind before embarking on a goat project.
Goat Project Areas
Dairy goats are smaller than cows, but give enough milk for the family with two milkings a day. Dairy goats are very affectionate and make great companions!
Goat meat is commonly eaten around the world, tasting similar to venison or beef. Meat goat projects can be a short term project and require less investment in housing than working or dairy goats.
Working goats require regular exercise and training, but can be a great companion on hikes or helpful while doing chores. Fiber goats must be kept clean and shaved at least once a year. They will give soft, warm fiber that can be made into yarn for craft projects.
Goat Five Star Program and Record Books
Youth interested in goats can participate in the 5 star goat program. This prestigious program allows the youth to demonstrate their commitment to learning about goats through challenging hands-on activities, such as making goat cheese, growing forages and making an informational nutrition display, and creating a website or Facebook page for a goat farm. There are printable record books available for specific goat projects as well. (Some are coming soon!)
There are lots of fun opportunities to meet like-minded youth and learn more about goats. Activities are both knowledge based and hands-on. There are statewide educational programs, contests, and opportunities to participate at the Great New York State Fair!
For more information
Contact tatiana Stanton at tls7 [at] cornell.edu.