Business training aims to boost dairy goat producers’ success

Ontario dairy goat producers looking to improve or expand their operations, increase their business management skills, and boost their bottom lines are invited to take part in the Dairy Goat Advanced Farm Management Program. Program Info Sheet

“With this industry expanding so rapidly over the past few years, we want to equip producers with the tools they need to take full advantage of the market opportunities,” says Jennifer Haley, Executive Director of Ontario Goat (OG).

Producers are working very hard at growing their businesses in order to build sustained and controlled milk volumes. OG’s Cost of Production study shows there is an opportunity for producers to enhance their profitability and productivity by zeroing in on their business goals.”

The program is offered through a partnership between the Agri-food Management Institute and Ontario Goat and is designed for licensed dairy goat farm owners and managers. It will consist of five, one-day intensive sessions starting in March, 2017.

The training sessions are focused specifically on the business management and financial analysis of dairy goat production and are aimed at helping each participant create a customized management action plan that fits his or her goals.

These may include increasing the size of the farm, increasing efficiency and productivity, dealing with labour issues, or tracking, understanding and improving financial performance.

Experienced farm business management specialists who lead the sessions will share key business concepts like enterprise analysis, whole farm risk assessment and lean manufacturing principles, along with a real-life case study. Participants will also be able to network with other producers to share insights.

A highlight of the program will be a tour through the Mariposa Dairy in Lindsay where owner Bruce Vandenberg will talk about his expansion plans as well as the outlook for the dairy goat business and what processors are looking for from producers. (TBC)

“Over the last year we have aligned more closely with commodities’ strategic directions so we can best serve individual farmers’ needs for meaningful management advice and practical knowledge that they can apply right away,” says Ashley Honsberger, Executive Director of the Agri-food Management Institute.

“Studies show that continuous learning is important for the success of farm businesses, which is why we are offering this opportunity.”

Training dates are March 22, April 3, April 12: Bus tour to Mariposa Dairy, April 26, May 10, May 17. The cost is $500 for first participant and $450 for the second participant from the same operation. Producers who sign up before February 24th will receive an early bird discount of 10 per cent.

All sessions will be held at Quality Inn, in Woodstock, Ontario. Additional information is at

To register, producers can fill out the form on the website or email

Ontario Goat (OG) is a farmer-run organization dedicated to enhancing the goat industry through education, collaboration, innovation and strategic alliances. OG continues to focus on sustainable growth, industry development and profitability in order for all sectors of the Ontario goat industry to reach their full potential. 

The Agri-food Management Institute (AMI) promotes new ways of thinking about agribusiness management and aims to increase awareness, understanding and adoption of beneficial business management practices by Ontario agri-food and agri-based producers and processors. AMI is funded through Growing Forward 2, a federal-provincial-territorial initiative. 

AFMP Dairy goat info sheet

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