Federal government spending to aid Ontarios goat industry

he federal government is helping to in­crease profitability and access new markets for Ontario’s goat industry.


On Aug. 11, Perth-Wellington MP Gary Schel­lenberger, on behalf of Agri­culture Minister Gerry Ritz, announced over $700,000 in spending to establish an inte­grated dairy goat genetic im­provement program.

The GoGen pilot project, which will be overseen by On­tario Goat, will help the goat industry make genetic im­prove­ments to increase milk production and improve meat quality through superior gene­tics.  The funds will also be used to update, modify, and bring efficiencies to current goat genetic tools already provided by the goat industry.

“The goat industry repre­sents one of the largest growth opportunities in Ontario agri­culture today,” said Schel­len­berger. “This project has great potential to help goat producers become more profitable, in­crease sales and access new milk and meat markets.”

The pilot project will help determine the value and bene­fits of a domestic genetic im­provement program speci­fi­cally geared to the goat indus­try and will work with several existing programs, including CanWest DHI for milk testing, www.goatgenetics.ca for goat evaluations, and Gencor (a leader in the cow genetics industry) on genetic evaluation and assessment of artificial in­semination tools. Information about the project will be com­municated regularly in the On­tario Goat Newsletter and on its website.

“By implementing an inte­grated pilot program, the On­tario goat industry can dem­onstrate the value that these com­bined programs and ser­vices can have to the entire goat industry and to the in­di­vidual goat producer,” said Jennifer Haley, Executive Director of Ontario Goat. “The GoGen project will provide a toolbox full of production man­agement tools that will ulti­mately help producers become more efficient and return more dollars to their operations.”

“Through the use of pilot herds, this project will allow producers to learn the value of implementing goat genetic improvement programs from their peers,” said Jim Rickard, AAC chairman. “These pro­grams can help position the On­tario goat industry to cap­ture future growth opportu­ni­ties, both domestic and export, and remain competitive.”

Funding for this project is being provided by the Can­adian Agricultural Adaptation Program (CAAP). In Ontario, CAAP is delivered by the Agricultural Adaptation Coun­cil (AAC).

CAAP is a five-year (2009-2014), $163-million national initiative that aims to help the Canadian agricultural sector adapt and remain competitive. Eligible CAAP projects could be in areas of traceability, en­vi­ronment, climate change, cap­acity development, pests and diseases, and more.

For more information on CAAP, visit www.agr.gc.­ca/­caap. To learn more about AAC, visit www.adapt­coun­cil.org.