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March 2010

Release Date: March 24, 2010ASU Logo

ASU Agriculture Prof Wins USDA Research Grant

Dr. Kirk Braden, assistant professor of animal science at Angelo State University, has received a $7,334 sub-award from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Institute for Food and Agriculture (USDA-NIFA) to conduct research aimed at improving U.S. meat goat production and profitability.

The sub-award is part of an overall $498,232 grant from the USDA-NIFA’s Agriculture and Food Research Initiative (AFRI) for a multi-university, three-year project titled “Enhanced Economic Benefits for Meat Goat Producers Through Production, Meat Yield and Palatability, and Consumer Information.” Other institutions involved in the project are Louisiana State University, Southern University, Fort Valley State University and Tuskegee University.

The project will assess the economic status and needs of meat goat producers, evaluate live goat and carcass characteristics that influence lean yield and meat properties, determine consumer preferences for goat meat and identify improved marketing strategies.

Braden’s role during the first two years of the project will be to identify West Texas meat goat producers for participation and supervise their goats’ slaughter, fabrication and data collection. In the third year, Braden will coordinate a Texas producer seminar to release the project results.

“We have been in discussions with LSU for a couple of years in terms of research collaborations targeting the goat industry,” Braden said. “Basically, we will be conducting the end-of-life analysis for the market goat project and then holding a seminar/producer meeting in year three.”

AFRI is NIFA’s flagship competitive grant program and was established under section 7406 of the Food, Conservation and Energy Act of 2008 (the 2008 Farm Bill). AFRI supports work in six priority areas: plant health and production and plant products; animal health and production and animal products; food safety, nutrition and health; renewable energy, natural resources and environment; agriculture systems and technology; and agriculture economics and rural communities.

For more information on the ASU sub-award, call Braden at 942-2027.