Americans LOVE cheese. Cheese consumption in the US has TRIPLED since 1970. This trend has been equally true for goat cheese. We’ve also begun to make more artisan cheeses at home here in the States, which is a point of pride for American cheese makers– but there’s still one thing we don’t do a lot of. Eat goat meat.
This doesn’t really seem like much of a problem but the goat dairy industry faces a very unique challenge that the standard dairy industry doesn’t. What do you do with male goats?
You very well can’t milk them, but unlike male cattle that have market value for what we will call their ‘burger potential’, male goats don’t draw the same demand. If high school economics taught us anything, we know that without demand farmers can expect to receive very little payment for what amounts to a lot of time and resources invested in raising these little goats. In the worst-case scenario male goats are ‘disposed of’ as early as possible to avoid spending money the farmer can’t recoup.
This is where the idea for No Goat Left Behind came from. Anne Saxelby, a New York based cheesemonger sought to find a sustainable end market for these animals. By guaranteeing farmers that there will be demand for male goats the farmers are now able to commit the resources needed to raise them through adulthood. This year marks the 4th anniversary of our Goatober project!
The most important variable in this equation has been the support of our many partnering restaurants and butcher shops. Without the commitment to incorporate goat onto their menus we would not have been able to generate enough support to sustain this project.
Having the support of so many well-respected restaurants and butcher shops has had a much bigger impact than we could have ever imagined. The impact restaurants and butcher shops have on driving trends in food is
unparalleled. We’ve seen interest in goat meat from the average customer grow every year since the inception of No Goat Left Behind. We want to thank everyone who has helped make this project successful, and thank all of the participating restaurants and butchers for their trust, vision, and leadership.