Local News

Co-op Making Goat Meat Available In Triangle

Posted July 5, 2001 10:00 a.m. EDT

— Many of our new neighbors are looking for foods that remind them of their culture. Goat meat is a staple in many Hispanic kitchens, but it has been hard for them to find it locally.

About 40 Franklin County farmers have formed a cooperative to produce and sell goat meat, and they are marketing it in the Triangle.

"They knew that we had to find an alternative market. We were exporting all of our quality goats up north to northern markets, and we thought we had the demand for the goat meat here in this area," says Franklin County extension agent Martha Mobley.

It is really pretty simple economics: find a market and meet a demand. With a rapidly diversifying population, there is a strong need for ethnically-oriented food.

"Canada and the United States are the only two nations where goat meat is not the preferred meat of choice," goat farmer Ivan Creech says.

The cooperative tries to help farmers produce a top-notch product, and then market it.

"Up until now we really haven't had a good market outlet for these goats," said Creech.

They are not raising old brush goats. They raise a very expensive, imported breed known as Boer goats, which come from South Africa. So what does goat meat taste like?

"Nothing like you have ever tasted. I've tasted deer, emu, ostrich, pork, cow, and chicken. Goat meat has its own distinct taste," says Creech.

The meat appeals to many cultures, including those from Central America, the Caribbean and Middle East. The co-op is now marketing through IGA stores around the Triangle, and hopes to expand to more grocery chains.

The co-op was formed with the help of a grant for small farmers from North Carolina A&T University.