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Abstract

The study assessed the characteristics and practices of small livestock producers, emphasizing production and processing. Data were obtained from a convenience sample of 121 small producers from South Central Alabama, and analyzed using descriptive statistics, including chisquare tests. The socioeconomic factors showed most were part-time farmers; middle-aged producers; producers with at most a two-year/technical degree or some college education, and producers with $40,000 or less annual household income. A majority practiced rotational grazing, fed a combination of forage (direct from pasture), hay and concentrate, and about half conducted soil tests regularly. Furthermore, many had goats with parasite problems that were treated these primarily with anthelmintics; most sold live animals. The chi-square tests showed that farming status, gender, race/ethnicity, education, and household income had statistically significant relationships with production and processing characteristics. Socioeconomic factors should be considered in programs assisting producers in the study area.

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