Vermont Goat Dairy Research
The Northeast Dairy Business Innovation Center provided grant funding to Vermont Creamery to conduct research on the potential for development of the goat dairy sector in Vermont.
In partnership with a project team from University of Vermont, research was conducted with existing goat dairies in Vermont inclusive of farmstead cheese producers as well as fluid milk producers to understand opportunities and hurdles affecting potential growth. Research was also conducted with cow dairies to understand interest and potential for conversion or diversification with goats. The project also explored the existing educational opportunities as well as what technical assistance and resources would help to support expansion of the goat dairy industry in Vermont.
The goal for this work was to quantitatively and qualitatively understand the current goat dairy sector in Vermont, near-term opportunities for developing the sector, and what producers need to be successful operators.
The research had several objectives:
- Identify the need for additional Vermont-sourced fluid milk production from existing processors, including but not limited to Vermont Creamery.
- Identify gaps or opportunities in technical assistance provision, financing, and animal husbandry (e.g., veterinarians, genetics, feed consultants/nutritionists, and other goat health and management professionals).
- Engage with producers to gauge the interest in cow to goat conversions and understand the specifics needs of those businesses.
- Assess educational opportunities that exist for dairy goat production at Vermont or regional institutions of higher education.
- Engage with the regional dairy sector and partake of opportunities to host, attend, and/or speak at other dairy focused events to share knowledge and engage with the broader community of stakeholders about goat dairy farming.