Tennessee State University, the historically Black educational institution in Nashville, is conducting research on efficient ways to increase goat meat production in the United States. The research is focused on genetics and breeding to find out which breeds are the healthiest and need the least amount of maintenance.
According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, there are 2.6 million meat goats in the United States. But the need for goat meat is far greater due to an increasing immigrant population from nations where goat meat is a diet staple. Currently, the United States imports a large amount of goat meat.
The Tennessee State herd consists of 250 breeding does from several breeds of goats. Richard Browning, the leader of the goat program in the university’s department of agriculture states that “our primary target is female fitness in the doe population in the breeding herd. We’re looking for animals that are able to stay healthy and reproduce with limited inputs.”