Grant Award: $6,000
Patrick is expanding and improving his unique goat farm, which is the only Myotonic Goat farm in North Carolina that actively participates in the USDA Scrapie “Free” Flock Certification Program. Currently only seven Myotonic goat farms in the entire country are certified Scrapie Free Flock.
Scrapie is a fatal, degenerative disease affecting the central nervous system of sheep and goats. The Scrapie Free program is an effort to eradicate the disease from the United States. These special tags (below) identify his flock with this unique status.
Patrick is purchasing sires to alter genetics and therefore increase breeding yields, as well as adding adequate grain storage to sustain the current and future herd. He anticipates his herd number reaching 65 to 75 by 2015.
“New genetics will hopefully increase the current quality of our herd, which will in essence allow our farm to possibly increase per head pricing,” Patrick said. “With 50 breeding dams, our farm would be closer to becoming self-sustained.”
He is also completing a website that allows the farm to expand sales throughout the Southeast. Online customers can request a genetic cross of a certain sire of dam and reserve a kid from that particular genetic cross.
Patrick plans to provide sessions to the general public and 4-H groups to demonstrate feed rationing and recommendation, vaccination and wormer requirements, hair and hoof maintenance, show goat training, pasture management and marketing.