Guelph ON, November 5, 2014 – Ontario Goat has released a new Best Management Practices (BMP) manual for milk, meat and fibre goat farmers. Its goal is to help grow the goat industry by providing guidelines on how to manage production and health issues in the barn that can impact profitability.
Developed by a committee of producers, veterinarians, researchers and government representatives, the manual includes simple, straight-forward recommendations for areas like housing, nutrition, health, breeding protocols, biosecurity, and record-keeping.
“Best Management Practices are an excellent tool to help goat producers, whether they’re new or have been in the business for some time, with ongoing improvement of their herds and their operations,” says Anton Slingerland, Ontario Goat’s President. “The information in the manual can help producers have a positive impact on herd health, food safety and biosecurity, which can both increase the profitability of our industry and help us continue to expand.”
Ontario Goat has just wrapped up two workshops for producers that focused on increasing profitability by improving herd productivity, and were based on material contained in the BMP manual. The publication also includes recommendations that can be implemented fairly easily on most Ontario goat farms without being overly burdensome.
“Using the BMPs is a good way to benchmark against the industry standard and see how your operation compares to others in the Ontario goat industry,” says dairy goat producer Dirk Boogerd, who farms near Embro, Ontario and served on the manual’s development committee. “Our industry has a very fine margin of profitability so your operation has to work as best as it can to be successful.”
Copies will be sent to all Ontario Goat members. Non-members may purchase the manual from Ontario Goat for $50 (includes shipping); additional shipping charges will apply for manuals shipped outside of Ontario. Additional information is available by contacting Ontario Goat at 1-866-311-6422 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
The manual’s development was supported in part by investments from Industry Councils from Ontario and Quebec, which deliver the Canadian Agricultural Adaptation Program (CAAP) on behalf of Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada.