Custer herder encourages goat consumption

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Students at Douglas High School got a taste of a different type of meat rarely served in the United States.

On Friday, students were briefed on the benefits of goat meat which is high in protein and about 60 percent lower in fat than most red meats.

Custer goat herder Tom Barnes hopes to break the stigma of eating goats. He said that his goat-meat business, Pleasant Valley Farm, has been booming.

“We need more producers for goats,” Barnes said. “I have a tremendous market going, and I don't have enough goat meats. That's my purpose in life, to get more people to raise them and more people to eat them.”

The students were treated to a homemade goat meat chili made by MJ Adams, a Rapid City chef. According to Adams, goat farming represents a lesser-known side of South Dakota livestock production.

“As a former restaurant owner, I like to highlight that agritourism is big in our state,” said Adams. “People come to South Dakota, they want to eat what's growing in South Dakota; Yes, there's buffalo meat. A lot of the stuff gets shipped out, but it's great to have a specialty meat like goat.”

Barnes said the statewide push for goat meat is put on by the South Dakota Specialty Producer's Association.

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