Alcorn is set to host its first ever buck performance test in 2020, according to Dr. Maria Leite-Browning, animal science specialist and test administrator.
Browning, who serves as one of the meat goat industry’s chief experts in small ruminant production, believes that the test will have a significant impact on the meat goat industry. “Holding the test at Alcorn will be a major step for the meat goat industry of the region. Not only will it be the first meat goat performance test held in the Southeast in several years, but it will also be the first test held in Mississippi.”
The buck performance test is structured to replicate the way in which regional producers commonly raise goats from weaning to market; that is a period of forage followed by a period of feeding before entering the market. Hosting the test at ASU will help to identify the animals that perform in the parasite-harsh environments of the Southeast, by utilizing forage and feed sources that are commonly available in the region. The test will accentuate animals that perform well in commercial settings, while aiming to improve profitability for the region’s meat goat industry.
Registration will open March 15 – April 15, 2020. Test bucks must be born between Dec. 15, 2019 and Feb. 15, 2020 and be a minimum of 35 pounds. Bucks are to be delivered to the test center May 16, 2020. Forage tests will be held June 1 – Aug. 1 and feed tests will be Aug. 15 – Sept. 14. There will be a $150 consignment fee and producers can nominate up to four bucks (maximum of 60). Buck pick up as well as the conclusion field day is scheduled for Sept. 21, 2020.
According to Browning, additional test staff members will include Dr. Melissa Mason, test site manager; Dr. Randy Smith, forage specialist; Mr. David Garcia, USDA grading specialist; and Dr. David Powell, test veterinarian.
A performance committee has also been put in place to collect input from consignors, distribute test information to the meat goat industry, and provide feedback to the test staff. These members include Jeff Lamote, Phillip Wilborn, Daryl Byrd, Terry Hankins, and Joseph Knetter. Labor and data collection will be provided by faculty, staff and students from the School of Agriculture and Applied Sciences.
For more information, contact Browning at [email protected]