Friday, March 20, 2015

Nominating Goats To The 2015 Test

The nomination period for the 2015 Western Maryland Pasture-Based Meat Goat Performance Test is April 15-June 1. All nominations received by the deadline will be treated equally. If nominations exceed test capacity, preference will be given to Maryland residents and previous consignors.

Nomination packets will be mailed to previous consigners (2013, 2014) around April 1. Anyone can request a nomination packet by contacting Pam Thomas at or (301) 432-2767 x315. In addition, all documents pertaining to the 2015 test can be downloaded from this blog. You'll find links to pertinent documents under Forms and Info in the right hand column of the blog.

The goats will start the test on warm seasonal annuals.

Any goat producer is eligible to consign up to five male goats to the test. The goats may be of any breed or breed cross, with or without registration eligibility. They must have been born between January 1, 2015, and March 15, 2015, and weigh between 40 and 70 lbs. upon delivery to the test site on June 26. 

The fee for testing a goat this year is $120. A $20 nomination fee must accompany each goat nomination. The balance ($100) will be due when the goats are delivered to the test site on June 26.  Checks should be made payable to the MPWV Meat Goat Producers Association, as they are cosponsor of this year's test.

A $20 per head discount will be offered to Maryland residents, members of the MPWV Meat Goat Producers Association, as well as consignors who nominate five half-sibs (same sire) or whose herds are enrolled in the National Sheep Improvement Program (NSIP). NSIP calculates estimated breeding values (EBVs) for meat goats (and sheep). Discounts are not cumulative.

Identifying parasite-resistant bucks is a primary goal of the test.

This year's test will implement several changes, so be sure to read the 2015 Guidelines &  Protocol before sending in your nomination form. Health requirements remain unchanged from a year ago. All goats just be accompanied by either an intrastate (Maryland consigners) or interstate (out-of-state consignors) certificate of veterinary inspection (CVI).  All goats must carry official USDA scrapie ID.

If you  have questions about this year's test, please contact Susan Schoenian at or (301) 432-2767 x343. 2015 is the 10th anniversary of the Western Maryland Pasture-Based Meat Goat Performance Test.

Only consignors to the Western Maryland Pasture-Based Meat Goat Performance Test are eligible to consign does to the Bluegrass Performance Invitational to be held September 4-5, 2015, in Frankfort, Kentucky. It is recommended that some of this year's top-performing bucks be returned to their farms of origin and be sold at the 2016 Bluegrass Performance Invitational. For more information about this sale, contact Jarred Dennison at or (502) 875-8857.