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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 seventy small producers from selected counties in Florida, and analyzed using descriptive statistics, including chi-square tests. The socioeconomic characteristics showed that part-time producers, White producers, middle-aged producers, fairly educated producers, and moderate-income producers dominated the group. A majority of the producers practiced rotational grazing, fed a combination of forage and concentrate, and less than half conducted soil tests regularly. Moreover, over half had parasite problems and treated them primarily with anthelmintics. Nearly all producers sold animals live, implying very little processing. Therefore, some processing could be encouraged as value-added products fetch more than raw products. The chi-square tests also revealed that household income, race, farming status, and gender had statistically significant relationships with selected production characteristics.

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