The Small Ruminant Program educates landowners and small-scale producers about best management practices and the economic benefits of raising healthy goats and sheep. The program also explores sustainable methods of integrating livestock, timber production, and forage production in silvopasture systems and the long-term effects of different grazing systems on the environment.
Current Research Projects
- Meat Goat Demonstration Project – This project was funded by the United States Department of Agriculture’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture (USDA-NIFA). The project was developed on Alabama A&M University forestland in collaboration between Alabama Extension and Alabama A&M University’s College of Agricultural, Life and Natural Sciences. The objective of this project is to investigate how rotational browsing and stocking rate affect the understory vegetation, soil health, and gastrointestinal parasites of the goats browsing on forestland. This forestland contains a variety of invasive plants such as Chinese privet, bush honeysuckle, kudzu, thorny olive, mimosa, tree of heaven, paulownia, and many other invasive plant species. The project uses Kiko goats to control this understory vegetation while also improving the visual appearance of the landscape.