By Frank Craddock and Richard Machen
Professor and Extension Sheep and Goat Specialist
and Professor and Extension Livestock Specialist
Texas A&M University System
Published March 2011
Rural areas in many parts of the United States are being rapidly developed and urbanized. Many urban dwellers want to escape to the country to live a quiet, peaceful life or enjoy recreational opportunities on their own land. As a result, large tracts in rural areas are being divided into properties of 5 to 100 acres.
New rural landowners almost always want to maintain or obtain an ad valorem tax exemption, which is most often granted for agricultural use of the land. They often decide to start livestock enterprises to meet tax exemption requirements. However, most taxing authorities require one to demonstrate that such an enterprise is economically viable. In other words, owning one animal as a family pet will not qualify property for a tax exemption. Two enterprises best suited to small acreage and most likely to be profitable are meat goats and hair sheep.