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Western Md. Goat Field Day set for Oct. 3

September 28, 2009

The second annual Western Maryland Goat Field Day and Sale will be Saturday, Oct. 3, at the Washington County Agricultural Education Center near Boonsboro and adjacent to the University of Maryland's Western Maryland Research and Education Center.

Meat goat bucks from the Western Maryland pasture-based meat goat performance test that meet minimum standards for growth, parasite resistance, parasite resilience and reproductive and structural soundness will be offered for sale by public auction. Last year, 10 out of 58 goats on test qualified for the sale. 

This year, 60 goats are being tested. You can follow the progress of the test and view the data of the bucks by visiting the test's blog at http://mdgoattest.blogspot.com. 

The sale, which will take the form of a silent auction, will also include an invitational doe sale. 

Consigners to the buck test will nominate does to the sale. 

Last year, most of the goats sold were Kiko or Kiko crossbreds. This year's sale will include some Boers.

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The field day will be held from 9 a.m. to noon. Bidding for the silent auction will run from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. 

Richard Browning, a research animal scientist from Tennessee State University, will be the featured speaker. Browning is in the midst of conducting a multiyear breed evaluation study, comparing Boer, Kiko and Spanish goats and their reciprocal crosses.

At the same time the field day is under way, there will be a goat "skillathon" for those ages 8 to 18. Participants will be tested on their knowledge of meat, dairy and fiber goats.

For more information, call Susan Schoenian at 301-432-2767, ext. 343, or e-mail sschoen@umd.edu. Sale information will be posted on the aforementioned blog.

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