Sue Hobby has come up with a value-added product that she says has been well received: Goat-Beef Pepper Sticks.
"I just got USDA approval last week," she said in October. "We've got them in pepperoni and teriyaki flavors, and when I offer them to people without telling them it's goat meat, they really like it. If I tell them first that it's goat, they kind of back off."
That prejudice is something she's trying to counter. As treasurer of the California Meat Goat Association, she aims to educate people's palates.
The goat meat is so lean, she said, that a little beef fat has to be added to the convenience food.
"About 5 percent of my goats go to meat, all of that into the meat sticks. They go to a USDA facility for slaughter and deboning, then the meat goes to a facility near Sacramento for processing. We're selling them right now in local stores around Modesto and at our website."
Hobby said she and her husband work outside the home, and they raise about 185 goats on their 16 acres. Most of the animals are sold as breeding stock and youth projects.
"I'm trying to change the outlook on goat meat," she said. "It's the leanest of all domesticated meats, and the taste depends on what you feed it. And it cooks up wonderfully -- low heat and slow cooking, it just melts in your mouth."
-- Steve Brown