Alcorn partners with Royal International, explores opportunities in thriving goat enterprise

Alcorn partners with Royal International, explores opportunities in thriving goat enterprise

On Monday, May 13, Alcorn State University signed an agreement with Royal International, LLC to provide the University’s faculty and students with both farming and research opportunities to work within a thriving enterprise consisting of approximately 5,000 goats.

Royal International, LLC is an African-American owned and operated meat goat and lamb enterprise established in January 2012, by partners Charles Pickett Jr. and Louis E. James.

“This unique experience will enhance student’s education field exposure and increase research opportunities for the University,” says Pickett. James adds, “Royal and Alcorn share similar goals, emanating from strong African-American values and a culture steeped in excellence. For Royal, the development of an alliance with the oldest public historically black land grant institution in the United States, located only 50 miles from the farm, was a no brainer.”

University veterinarian and principal investigator, Dr. Cassandra Vaughn also sees the partnership as a “win-win” for both sides. “Students across majors will be able to participate in hands-on studies, and explore research and internship opportunities in goat husbandry,” said Vaughn. “We will be able to do numerous replications to lend increased credibility to our research efforts.”

While on the farm, students will engage in all stages of goat and lamb production, maintenance, marketing, slaughter, processing and packaging. Additionally, students will be educated in meat goat and lamb enterprise operations and systems.

Alcorn will provide Royal with research, extension and educational services, and activities that will result in improved farming technology and management systems. University staff, students and partners will identify best practices for enhanced production and efficiency, and design systems that will positively impact farm profitability and operations. Through its networks and partnerships, Alcorn will also assist Royal in securing resources to enhance the farm infrastructure.

Royal International is headquartered in Crystal Springs, Mississippi. It has additional locations throughout the state and in Texas, and is part owner of the USDA Halal Slaughtering Facility located in Summit, Mississippi. Royal Farm is located on 1200 acres in Terry, Mississippi.

Royal International