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Goat producers to focus on how productivity translates to profitability

Ontario Goat (OG) and EastGen have partnered up for a series of goat workshops being held in Stratford and Peterborough in October. The focus of the workshops is improving productivity in the herd that will contribute towards overall profitability.

With the growth in both the dairy and meat sectors over the past few years, goat producers have focused on the herd size. Now, as part of the evolution of the goat sector, goat producers are keen to take a deeper look at the productivity of the herd and how each goat contributes to the profitability of the herd.

"A goat herd cannot make the contribution to the bottom line and be profitable if it is not a productive herd" stated Kendra Keels, Industry Development Manager with Ontario Goat. "At the same time, you cannot measure what you do not know and it is important that producers understand what variables to look at when making important herd decisions".

At each of the workshops, Ontario Goat will launch their latest resource - Best Management Practices for Commercial Goat Production. The goat best management practices (BMPs) manual is a comprehensive resource designed for goat producers across the meat, milk and fibre sectors that are looking to improve or implement best management practices on their farms.

"The BMP manual is an excellent resource for all goat farmers because not only does it cover a lot of production and herd management topics, but it was put together with the assistance of an industry wide steering committee" stated Keels. All producers who attend the workshop will be given the BMP manual as part of their registration.

One of the areas producers can focus on to increase their productivity is reproductive management. EastGen's, Bruce Poulin will lead a discussion with producers about effective reproduction management in the goat herd. "Effective reproduction management, and all that it entails, can help improve productivity by ultimately providing a year-round supply of meat or milk," suggests Paul Stewart, Genetics Program Specialist with EastGen.

Cecelia Curtis, Ruminant Nutritionist at Floradale Feed Mill Limited, will review management tips associated with transition feeding starting with the dry doe through to early lactation. As well, Dr. Allyson MacDonald, a veterinarian specializing in goat production will review goat diseases and animal health challenges and their economic impact on the herd.

The workshops will be held on October 22nd at the Stratford Rotary Complex and October 23rd at the Best Western Plus Otonabee Inn in Peterborough. All workshops will be held from 10 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. with lunch provided. Pre-registration is required and the cost to attend is $20/person. Contact the Ontario Goat office at 1-866-311-6422 to reserve a spot or download a registration form here.

Ontario Goat represents Ontario's milk, meat and fibre goat farmers with a united voice and is dedicated to enhancing the goat industry through education, collaboration, innovation and strategic alliances.

To learn more about East Gen visit www.eastgen.ca/goats/



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