April 2007
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Got goats???????

Northwest Alabama Livestock Monthly Goat Sale

By Don Linker

On February 15, 2007, goat breeders from Northwest Alabama met with Jim Martin, manager at Northwest Alabama Livestock in Russellville, to discuss the feasibility of having a monthly goat sale.

After discussing several pertinent questions, they agreed to begin with the first sale on March 3 at 1 o’clock, with subsequent sales being the first Saturday of each month at 1 p.m. Northwest Alabama Livestock is a full service livestock facility with a large amount of great seating, professional staff, super restaurant and plenty of parking. All sales are broadcast live on the internet.
 
There were 215 goats at the first monthly goat sale at Northwest Alabama Livestock in Russellville.  

Goats were once considered cleanup artists. If you had some land with undergrowth, you might put goats in that area to eat the weeds and brush, hence the name brush goats. Now with the influx of large meat breeds and the interest in goat milk, goats have found a niche in meat and dairy agriculture. Goats are ideal for small acreages and are very adaptive to modern goat management practices. A market for goats like the one in Russellville will be a plus as it will give goat producers another way to market their animals close to home.

According to the National Agriculture Statistics Service, goat numbers have risen 3% nationally to 2.93 million head as of January 2007. In Alabama, as of January 2007, meat goats showed a 5000 head increase over 2006 for a total of 48,000 head. Dairy goats also show an increase of 10% to 2000 head in Alabama. These numbers indicate the interest in goat agriculture in Alabama and should continue to rise with more people becoming involved in the industry.

On Saturday, March 3, just two weeks after the inception, the Northwest Alabama Livestock held its first monthly goat sale. Two hundred and fifteen goats of many breeds went on the auction block with the bulk of the offering being Boer, Boer percentages, and Boer crosses. Bidding was brisk as an almost full house of buyers from Mississippi, Tennessee and Alabama vied to get the winning bid. The average price per head was an impressive $51.05, with select nannies going back to farms in the area. Buyers and sellers alike are very excited about the outcome of the auction and are committed to the continued success of this venture.
 
  Cheyenne Martin, seated on the rail, helps keep things running smoothly in the auction ring.

Jim Martin is also committed to making this auction a viable market for goat and sheep breeders in the Tennessee Valley. You can contact Jim at 256-332-3323 or visit on the internet at www.nwalivestock.com for any questions you may have about the monthly goat sales or the regular Monday livestock sales.

Remember your local Co-op carries all the supplies you need for sheep and goats from fencing to feed, minerals, and health care.

Don Linker is an outside salesman for AFC.