“You shall have enough goats’ milk for your food, For the food of your household, And the nourishment of your maidservants.” Proverbs 27:27
The goat project
At a meeting with Pastor Diomedes on the mission trip in June 2014, he expressed the need to get a dairy cattle operation established as there is “no milk whatsoever” in this region. The Pastor indicated many children are malnourished at a young age due to the lack of milk.
We listened intently but soon realized an actual cattle dairy would likely “not” work as it is very hot and humid which is not good for dairy cattle; such an operation needs lots of money for quality feed, veterinary expenses, a tractor for farming and to pick up the animals when they cannot get up on their own, etc. So I returned from the meeting and abandoned the idea. But God had other plans for me.
In September 2014, I visited with our local Vocational Agriculture (FFA) Teacher and told him the story about all that had happened and the dairy discussion. His very first words were “dairy goats! You need to get dairy goats in there.” This proved to be the first step in the dairy goat ministry.
Next, I spoke to a man at USDA and told him about my experience. He directed me to Langston University. As it turns out, Langston University is one of the “premier” goat research facilities in the world and is just 15 minutes from our church.
At Langston University, I worked with goat researchers and the Goat Research Department Director and he approved two researchers to go to Nicaragua. In October 2015, the feasibility study was performed and the results indicated a goat dairy is the best way to get the needed milk, as well as cheese, yogurt, butter and more meat into this area.
To prepare for the dairy goats, fencing, barn and water well improvements are being made to the local Christian farm (in Nicaragua in 2017 and 2018) from fund raising efforts at our church. Hay and crops beneficial to dairy goats are now being raised at this farm. In June 2017, a Long Range Plan was developed and we are working to turn the small farm in Nicaragua into a “full-time” Christian based agricultural training center for local farmers. The dairy goats will be the primary focus for this farm.
Once the dairy goats are introduced in both Nicaragua and Honduras, we will conduct semi-annual visits with goat professionals (from the U.S.), to insure the goats are properly cared for and strict record keeping is enforced. New goat barns and other milking infrastructure are also needed.