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Vermont Chevon

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Shirley Richardson loves her kids.  Wandering around this Danville farm are goats for her business, Vermont Chevon. Chevon is the French word for goat.

"Goat meat is the healthiest meat there is," Richardson said.

She converts surplus livestock from Vermont's goat dairies into premium meat that has a mild flavor. "I'm intrigued by solving problems, and I could see Vermont had a problem," Richardson said.

The problem popped up after the state's goat cheese and dairy industry started to grow. Richardson partnered with farmers to use what otherwise would be wasted and she teaches consumers about chevon. "80-percent of the animals born on a dairy farm every year are basically surplus," she said, "because the bucks don't produce milk."

Goat is the most widely distributed meat in the world, according to Richardson, making up almost 70-percent of the red meat eaten worldwide.
"Every culture in the world eats goat meat except white North Americans," Richardson said. "It's not common. We grew up with beef pork and lamb and chicken."

The USDA says it's also the healthiest meat. It's low in fat and cholesterol and has more iron than most meat. Richardson says it tastes like grass fed beef, but sweeter.  Vermont Chevon has been up and running for five years. Richardson started it after she retired from a career in education. Moving from kids to kids!

The goat meat is sold to chefs, hospitals, universities, and certain markets. Boston is a big market and demand is growing everyday.  Vermont Chevon plans to double the number of animals harvested this year. "They want their children to grow up with something they're familiar with in their culture, and they want their kids to have the same experience here," Richardson said.

Adding value to Vermont's dairy goat farms, while producing a Made in Vermont meat.

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