Ontario Goat launches goat genetic improvement program
August 13, 2010 - Ontario’s goat industry received a significant investment today with the announcement of just over $700,000 in funding towards the implementation of a goat genetic improvement program. GoGen is an integrated goat genetic improvement program that incorporates the use of milk recording, classification, registration, genetic evaluation, assessment of artificial insemination use and young sire testing and development of on-farm health protocols.
“Ontario Goat is very grateful to Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (AAFC) and the AgriculturalAdaptation Council (AAC)for this investment in the Ontario goat industry,” stated Ontario Goat President Tobin Schlegel. “This project comes at a time when the goat industry has witnessed substantial growth over the past few years and now we are looking at practical ways to find efficiencies in the herd through sound management decisions.
The GoGen program is a three-year pilot project that will provide cost sharing incentives to qualifying pilot farms. Data collected from these farms will be shared with the goat industry to demonstrate the value of an integrated genetic improvement program. Applications for producers interested in participating as a pilot farm will be available shortly.
“We are so grateful to our industry partners who have come on board to help us with this project,” explained Ontario Goat Executive Director Jennifer Haley. “The time was right in the Ontario goat industry to bring everyone together, to discuss our needs and to figure out a common path without reinventing the wheel.”
Not only does the GoGen program help the goat producer with the development of various production management tools, but goat milk processors and ultimately consumers will benefit from a more consistent supply of high quality goat milk. The GoGen program will also evaluate the genetic improvement needs and opportunities of the goat meat sector.
Funding for this project has been provided by AAFC through the Canadian Agricultural Adaptation Program (CAAP). CAAP is a five-year, $163 million national initiative that aims to help the Canadian agricultural sector adapt and remain competitive. In Ontario, this program is being delivered by the AAC.
“This project will allow goat producers to remain competitive and will enhance the capacity in the industry to capture both domestic and export marketing opportunities”, says Jim Rickard, AAC Chair.
Ontario Goat is a producer organization dedicated to serving the needs of the meat, milk and fibre sectors.
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For more information contact:
Jennifer Haley, Executive Director, 519-824-2942