LANGSTON — O.C. Simpson’s contributions to Langston University’s goat research program during his lifetime have enabled the program to thrive even after his death in February.
More than 300 acres serve as home to about 1,500 goats on the university’s campus. The goats produce milk, meat, cheese, yogurt, ice cream, cashmere and mohair for research, demonstration and extension activities.
This is what Simpson had in mind when he established the program, now called the E (Kika) de la Garza American Institute for Goat Research, in 1984. When the institute was established, they only had two goats.
“The goat was a forgotten animal,” said Marvin Burns, dean and research director at Langston University. “He saw the future and importance of goat research on a worldwide basis before anybody thought about the goat as a research animal.”
Goat meat, in terms of the quantity that is consumed on a worldwide basis, surpasses any other meat; it’s about 70 percent of the red meat eaten globally, according to the United States Department of Agriculture.
The program has had influence on goat research on every continent.
“When Israel needed to find an institution in the world to work on goat research with them in cyanide, they came to Langston University,” Burns said.
Simpson was one of the first to do research with the Northwest A&F University near Xi’an, China. He established the first “memorandum of understanding” between Langston University and a university in China.
Since that time, the institute has had a continuous relationship with universities in China.
Goat research helps solve problems such as disease, viruses, parasitism and helps farmers better utilize their resources.
Goats suffer from a lot of the same problems humans do. They suffer from viruses, bacteria and cancer. The organism that causes disease is virtually the same.
Each of the program’s five goat breeds has a specialization. The breeds are Alpine, Boer, Spanish, Angora and fainting goats.
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