Standardized performance testing and on-farm testing programs have been in existence for over 40 years. They have been highly successful in increasing performance of economically important traits in cattle and sheep. They have evolved and changed over time but started with simple data collection and evaluations. These types of programs will work for goat producers as well as they have for beef and sheep producers, goat producers simply need to get started collecting data.
The principle behind performance testing is that economically important traits are heritable. The heritability of the different traits varies but selection can result in improvements in these traits. It is also well established that we can adjust performance data for known environmental effects resulting in a more accurate measurement of performance traits. This makes the use of standardized performance data more valuable than individual weights when selecting for improvement in these traits.