KENNY AND MEGAN ELWOOD - Tapping into the Emerging Goat Meat Market
Kenny and Megan Elwood raise cattle on an 850-acre ranch in Bella Vista, California. The land has been in the family since 1862. In a time when the number of farms in the state are steadily declining, maintaining and growing a legacy requires ingenuity and the ability to not only adapt, but the willingness to branch out into new markets. The Elwood’s venture into an emerging market is an example of how these characteristics come together to generate a successful outcome.
The Elwood’s story begins when they discovered a growing niche product to expand their operations – goat meat. Goat meat is a high quality, lean, healthy red meat and the demand for products like this is increasing within the United States. The country currently imports an estimated $30 Million of goat meat a year.
The couple’s interest in goats began in 2010, when Megan began raising and showing Boer goats, as well as selling them to local 4-H and FFA kids. The Boer goat is considered a unique breed of livestock for several reasons. The Boer goat has a rapid growth rate, the capability to acclimate to different environments, and is an excellent source of meat. The first full-blood Boers were introduced to America in 1993, and since then, the amount of interest in breeding Boer goats has surged.
The Elwood’s recognized the possibilities goat meat offered them, and in 2015 Kenny’s Killer Goat Jerky was born. When asked why they chose to make goat jerky Kenny replied, “We decided to start marketing goat meat to consumers and believed jerky would be the best way to introduce goat meat to the masses.”
The Elwood’s currently sell their products online, at www.KennysKillerJerky.com, and at trade shows. There are two products to choose from - jerky sticks and thick cut jerky. The jerky sticks come in four flavors – honey pepper, pepper, teriyaki, and fire hot. The thick cut jerky flavors are garlic, zesty, teriyaki, and pepper. The Elwood’s plan to expand into retail outlets in the near future.
Kenny’s Killer Goat Jerky is an example of the multitude of specialized commodities that are sprouting in today’s agricultural landscape. Golden State Farm Credit applauds Kenny and Megan’s entrepreneurial spirit and success. We look forward to continuing our relationship with the Elwood’s and seeing Kenny’s Killer Goat Jerky in local supermarkets, along with any other possibilities that come their way. As Kenny says, “Golden State Farm Credit gives us the chance to NOT let opportunities pass us by.”
To learn more about the goat industry, visit the American Boer Goat Association at abga.org or the American Goat Federation at americangoatfederation.org.