Article Index "2008 GoatWorld Poll Results" Article Index

2002 CENSUS OF AGRICULTURE

By: "Gary Pfalzbot"
About the Author

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These results are from several polls taken on GoatWorld from approximately 2004 to April of 2008. The questions that were asked during this polling period are:

1) "Goat Location in North America" - By state or Canadian province in terms of population.
Total Responses = 454
Top Answer = "New Brunswick" (12%)

2) "How concerned are you about Foot & Mouth Disease?"
Total Responses = 424
Top Answer = "Somewhat concerned - it might spread to the US" (52%)

3) "How did you come to acquire goats?" Self explanatory.
Total Responses = 827
Top Answer = "Purchased for 4H, FFA or other related reasons" (17%)

4) "Should We Add Sheep To GoatWorld?"
Total Responses = 1418
Top Answer = "No, keep it goats only please" (50%)

5) "When buying a new goat, the most important factor to me is..."
Total Responses = 651
Top Answer = "Breed (Alpine, Nubian, Boer, etc.)" (34%)

6) "Uses for Goat Milk"
Total Responses = 512
Top Answer = "I plan to use goat milk for a purpose someday" (27%)

7) "How many goats do you currently care for?"
Total Responses = 816
Top Answer = "One (1) to five (5)" (30%)

8) "What best describes your experience with goat meat?"
Total Responses = 564
Top Answer = "I've eaten goat meat and really liked it" (42%)

9) "Making Money Raising Goats" - The success (or not) of making money in this market.
Total Responses = 580
Top Answer = "I have goats for fun - money does not matter" (31%)

10) "Are you or have you been a member of a goat association?"
Total Responses = 488
Top Answer = "I am a member." (61%)

11) "Frequency of visits to GoatWorld?"
Total Responses = 530
Top Answer = "Not very often" (27%)

12) "The breed of goat I raise and prefer is?"
Total Responses = 1171
Top Answer = "Pygmys" (23%)

13) "Goats in captivity should be horned or dehorned"
Total Responses = 947
Top Answer = "Dehorned" (51%)

14) "Which GoatWorld feature do you USE most often?"
Total Responses = 428
Top Answer = "Health Information" (24%)

Much like the U.S. Census, some interesting conclusions can be drawn from this set of poll questions. I will attempt to explain each poll question and give my own thoughts and opinions.

1) "Goat Location in North America" - By state or Canadian province in terms of population.
The U.S. Census of course DOES NOT include Canada and obtaining the number for an estimated goat population for Canada, to my knowledge, has not yet been established. The fact that New Brunswick led the poll over any state in the U.S. does not really surprise me all that much. New Brunswick paced Texas by nearly 2 to 1 in the GoatWorld Poll, and oddly enough, The GoatWorld Poll ranked Texas #1 in the U.S., as was the case in the U.S. Census.

2) "How concerned are you about Foot & Mouth Disease?"
While the majority of respondents were "somewhat concerned" at 52%, less seemed "extremely concerned" at 19%, and only a bit over a narrow margin of those who answered "I don't think it will spread to the US" at 17%. In the last year or two, we haven't heard much more about Foot and Mouth disease which is either because a) - the fuss has died down and people have forgotten about it or b) because it didn't become as wide spread as previously thought.

3) "How did you come to acquire goats?"
The results here are interesting and diverse with "Purchased for 4H, FFA or other related reasons" at 17% leading the pack narrowly over "Purchased for the purpose of having a pet(s)" at 15% and then followed by "For another reason not listed here" at 10%.

4) "Should We Add Sheep To GoatWorld?"
The responses to this question were pretty much split down the middle but in the end, NOT adding sheep to GoatWorld was the result. Over the life of GoatWorld, a number of sheep questions have come up from time to time. It's only fair because we have the "Sheep and Goat" industry and NOT just the Sheep industry or the Goat industry as standalone, separate entities. I do know that there are quite a few people that wish that they were standalone industries. By the way, GoatWorld does have sheepworld.com as well - it has just never been launched as a web site (yet).

5) "When buying a new goat, the most important factor to me is..."
Buying for breed type was the most popular answer followed by bloodlines. The next responses were widely mixed with answers such as reliability, gender, and pricing.

6) "Uses for Goat Milk"
"I plan to use goat milk for a purpose someday" was the most popular answer at 27% but followed closely by "I don't drink goat milk" at 24%. I am curious to know how this will change as the price of cow milk continues to rise. I feel that one day, more people will most likely purchase a goat or two just for the milk alone. Some interesting conclusions can be drawn from this census... primarily that Texas continues to lead the U.S. in total number of goats by almost 10 to 1 to the next closest state; Tennessee. It has been reported to GoatWorld from time to time that the number of goats in the U.S. has nearly doubled over the past 5 to 10 years. This statement appears to be false and would most probably apply to Texas alone if there has been any stated doubling of numbers. Such doubling of numbers could also apply to the demand of goat meat. Also, as with many census figures, the numbers reflected below may actually be lower than actual numbers. Many states have incorporated livestock (such as goats) into their tax assessment forms. Therefore, many people are reluctant to actually reveal the actual number of goats they may possess at any given point in time.

Rank State # of Goats Rank State # of Goats
1 Texas 1,194,289 26 New Mexico 19,128
2 Tennessee 114,664 27 Iowa 18,898
3 California 103,122 28 Colorado 18,561
4 Oklahoma 82,792 29 West Virginia 17,484
5 Georgia 69,498 30 Illinois 17,192
6 Kentucky 68,412 31 Louisiana 14,633
7 North Carolina 67,276 32 Nebraska 11,718
8 Alabama 50,574 33 Idaho 11,520
9 Missouri 48,654 34 Maryland 9,601
10 Ohio 45,061 35 Utah 9,092
11 Virginia 41,275 36 Montana 8,613
12 South Carolina 41,192 37 New Jersey 8,312
13 Florida 39,964 38 South Dakota 7,021
14 Pennsylvania 39,932 39 Nevada 6,506
15 Arizona 35,374 40 Massachusetts 6,022
16 Wisconsin 35,179 41 Wyoming 5,380
17 New York 33,130 42 Hawaii 5,364
18 Arkansas 32,580 43 Vermont 4,133
19 Oregon 30,628 44 New Hampshire 3,774
20 Indiana 27,801 45 Maine 3,162
21 Mississippi 26,738 46 Connecticut 2,586
22 Kansas 24,763 47 North Dakota 2,523
23 Washington 23,217 48 Delaware 1,521
24 Michigan 21,094 49 Rhode Island 468
25 Minnesota 19,768 50 Alaska 277

This data was obtained from 2002 Census of Agriculture and can be found at: http://www.nass.usda.gov/census/census02/volume1/us/index2.htm. This census also includes data for Dairy Goats, Angoras, and Meat Goats, by state. As time permits, I may further interpolate the census data and add it to this page.

About the author: Gary Pfalzbot is the webmaster of GoatWorld. He has raised goats over the years, been involved with 4-H (as a young boy) and currently resides in Florissant, CO, situated within the Rocky Mountains. He and his wife Pam began raising a few breeds of goats, mainly precipitated for the control of Kudzu vine. They now primarily author the GoatWorld web site to continue to inform, educate, and promote the industry and those persons who are interested in goats.

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