Goat groups join forces with annual meeting set for April 10 to 12

It is an exciting time to be involved in the Ontario goat industry ac­cor­ding to Ontario Goat Breeders Association according to presi­dent Tobin Schlegel.


“There have been a number of important milestones already achieved in the past few months, and as a result there are so many more opportunities presenting themselves. “How­ever, before the goat industry can truly capitalize on these op­portunities we need to build a solid organizational foundation and infrastructure for our members” he said.

That has been the top priority for the OGBA as a re­sult of its collaborative partner­ship with the Ontario Veal Association and Ontario Rab­bit.

During the past few months the OGBA has led a series of meetings to consider the future of the goat industry. A number of reoccurring themes kept coming up. The most re­sounding being the need for “one voice” in the goat industry.

On March 13, the Ontario Goat Milk Producers Asso­ciation (OGMPA) members vot­ed in favour of dissolving their organization. The move towards OGMPA dissolution came about as a result of industry discussions and a realization that more can be done together for the goat sector by aligning resources and consolidating membership.

“The goat industry is very thankful to the members of the OGMPA for their vision and leadership with this momen­tous decision that they have made” said  Schlegel. “We realize that this decision re­quired a lot of thought and careful consideration, but more importantly, a leap of faith, that something greater for the goat industry could be achieved.”

OGMPA president Laurie Llewellyn?South said, "We were very pleased that the out­come was a unanimous vote for the motion to dissolve and join forces with the OGBA. This decision is all about the future we want, and not at all about the past.”

“We are asking Ontario goat milk producers to trust in the vision of a united industry so we can move towards having a true commodity organization and really catapult our industry forward” Llewellyn?South added.

All current OGMPA mem­bers will have their member­ships honoured by the OGBA. The two organizations are now working out the transition  details. That coincides with the OGBA’s work towards devel­op­ing a sustainability plan for the industry.

“Our mandate has always been to work on behalf of all goat producers? meat, milk and fibre and we are re?committing ourselves to this important mandate, aligning our re­sources and moving forward so that the entire goat industry will benefit from our work” stated Schlegel.

The OGBA has also offici­ally assumed responsibility for the planning and organization of the International Goat Sym­posium. That planning committee will now fall under the OGBA mandate as a subcommittee and have access to OGBA staff and resources in order to take the IGS to the next level.

Planning is well underway for the 2010 event being held August 10 TO2 in Stratford.

The annual general meeting of the OGBA will be held on April 10 at the Holiday Inn in Guelph. At that meeting, in addition to the annual business meeting of the association, goat producers will have the opportunity to participate in a number of educational semi­nars including goat nutrition, exporting-importing and ani­mal health issues.

The OGBA will also be unveiling its re?branding strate­gy for the organization in an effort to bring all sectors together.

“We hope to commu­nicate our commitment to the Ontario goat industry through our rebranding efforts and I encourage all goat producers to come out for this very important and educational day” added Schlegel.

For more information about the annual general meeting see www.ogba.ca or 519-824-2942 or 1-866-311-6422.