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January 14, 2004   Email to Friend 

GOAT AND SHEEP PRODUCERS APPROVE CHECKOFF
Debra Davis
(334) 613-4686
January 14, 2004

MONTGOMERY, Ala. -- Goat and sheep producers overwhelmingly approved a voluntary checkoff program for their industry in statewide balloting Tuesday. Final results showed 70 percent of the producers who voted approved the checkoff, with 67 counties reporting 105 "yes" votes and 45 "no" votes. Collection of checkoff funds will begin as soon as collection systems can be put into place by the Alabama Department of Agriculture and Industries.

"The checkoff program allows producers to voluntarily contribute 50 cents from the sale price of each sheep and goat to help fund education, promotion and research activities," said Perry Mobley, director of the Alabama Farmers Federation's Meat Goat and Sheep Division. "The program will serve as a catalyst to support the state's rapidly growing goat and sheep industry. A committee of producer-elected farmers will determine how the checkoff money will be spent."

Similar checkoffs are supported through other commodities produced in Alabama, including dairy, beef and pork. Familiar promotional campaigns such as "Got Milk?," "Beef -- It's What's for Dinner," and "Pork -- The Other White Meat" all are funded by producer checkoff programs.

"Meat goat and sheep production offers great opportunities for small farms," Mobley said. "Unlike some livestock operations, you can raise several sheep or goats on just a few acres and expect a good return on your investment. Alabama offers good grazing and an ideal climate for producing meat goats and sheep year round."

The United States imports more than 12 million pounds of goat meat per year and more than 10 times that much lamb and mutton. Experts attribute the increased demand to the popularity of the meats among Muslims and immigrants of Latin American descent.

Alabama Sheep and Goat Referendum
County By County Vote

County Yes No
Autauga 4 0
Baldwin 0 0
Barbour 1 0
Bibb 0 0
Blount 1 0
Bullock 0 0
Butler 1 0
Calhoun 0 0
Chambers 0 15
Cherokee 0 0
Chilton 1 0
Choctaw 0 0
Clarke 0 0
Clay 0 3
Cleburne 0 1
Coffee 2 1
Colbert 1 4
Conecuh 1 0
Coosa 0 0
Covington 0 0
Crenshaw 1 0
Cullman 0 3
Dale 2 2
Dallas 1 0
DeKalb 2 2
Elmore 5 0
Escambia 0 0
Etowah 1 0
Fayette 0 0
Franklin 3 0
Geneva 0 2
Greene 0 0
Hale 0 0
Henry 1 0
Houston 0 0
Jackson 0 0
Jefferson 1 0
Lamar 0 0
Lauderdale 4 5
Lawrence 0 0
Lee 2 0
Limestone 3 0
Lowndes 0 0
Macon 3 0
Madison 1 0
Marengo 0 0
Marion 2 0
Marshall 0 3
Mobile 4 0
Monroe 0 0
Montgomery 8 0
Morgan 1 0
Perry 0 0
Pickens 1 0
Pike 11 3
Randolph 10 0
Russell 0 0
Shelby 7 0
St. Clair 1 0
Sumter 0 0
Talladega 7 1
Tallapoosa 0 0
Tuscaloosa 1 0
Walker 7 0
Washington 1 0
Wilcox 0 0
Winston 2 0
Total 105 45




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