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get your goat
April 23, 2019

Goats are having their greatest moment of all time — or at least the last 10 years.

Dairy goats, while far from the most popular American livestock out there, saw their populations grow by 61 percent from 2007 to 2017, according to the USDA's newly released 2017 Census of Agriculture. Meanwhile, dairy cows only saw a three percent growth in America, and the goat boom may have something to do with it, analysis from The Washington Post has found.

Across the U.S., the dairy goat population went up from 334,754 animals in 2007 to 537,799 in 2017, per the census. That's largely thanks to the dairy state of Wisconsin, where 47,203 goats joined the herd.

Dairy cows, on the other hoof, haven't fared so well. Their miniscule growth was largely confined to Texas, Michigan, and Idaho, likely reflecting the rise of dairy-free milk alternatives, and how the average American drinks about 12 fewer gallons of milk per year than they did in the 1970s, the Post notes. Meanwhile, llamas, despite their growing appearances on decor at T.J. Maxx stores, saw their ranks drop nearly 70 percent from 2007 to 2017, per the census.

Read more about dairy goats' moment at The Washington Post, or find the whole USDA Census of Agriculture here. Kathryn Krawczyk

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