If you’re interested in raising meat and dairy goats, you can learn how to do so successfully by attending the Central Arkansas Goat Conference on July 26, at the Arkansas 4-H Center west of Little Rock near Ferndale, Ark.

Goats are the fastest growing livestock enterprise in the United States, according to Jodie Pennington, Arkansas Extension dairy and goat specialist with the University of Arkansas Division of Agriculture.

“The conference will provide participants with the basic information they need, including commercial goat production, internal parasite control, health management, forage and pasture management, and where to market goats,” Pennington said.

Featured speakers include Terry Hankins, editor of the Goat Rancher magazine, and Sarah and Jim Britt from the Arkansas Livestock and Poultry Diagnostic Laboratory in Little Rock. Topics include an overview of the goat industry, basic goat management practices, characteristics of the Kiko goat breed for use in the southeastern United States, goat diseases, an autopsy on a goat, showing/fitting of both dairy and meat goats as well as how to get a goat ready to show.

4-H members are encouraged to attend and show their goats.

“We’re really fortunate to have someone with the experience of Terry Hankins to speak as he travels throughout the country as editor of Goat Rancher,” Pennington said.

Other speakers include Pennington and top Arkansas 4-H members, who will demonstrate proper goat showmanship.

Allan Beuerman, Pulaski County Extension agent, said the conference is “an excellent opportunity to learn about goats from some of the top goat people in the country without having to travel far.”

The meeting is from 9:30 a.m. to 3:15 p.m.

Registration is $10 if you pre-register by July 19, or $15 at the door. Lunch and other educational materials are included in the registration fee.

You may pre-register with an Arkansas county Extension office or send your registration to: Shannon Foster, P.O. Box 391, Little Rock, Ark. 72034.