Goat farmers, producers handle increased demand for dairy
MADRID, Iowa (AP) -- Demand for goat milk and other dairy products has steadily increased in the U.S. in recent years largely because of growing interest in artisan cheeses and populations accustomed to goat products.
That's left goat farmers and dairy producers scurrying to keep up and find new and better ways to develop their goods.
The nation's dairy goat herd climbed 2 percent in the past year to 365,000 animals. Producers say they're seeing annual sales rise 10 to 15 percent or more and don't foresee interest waning anytime soon.
Farmer Paula Olson says she bought her first two goats in August 2008 as an experiment for herself and entertainment for her daughters. Now, she's constructing a small-scale creamery in Madrid, Iowa, and has local businesses already asking about her yet-to-be-made products.