Online record-keeping tracks herd information and animal movements
Guelph ON, March 19, 2013 – A new online record-keeping program will track and evaluate production and movement of meat goats in Ontario. Ontario Goat has worked with Beef Improvement Opportunities (BIO) to adapt their bioTrack livestock management program for meat goats, an online record-keeping system that captures herd information, including pedigree, health records, genetic evaluations and animal movements.
“Recording production and movement of meat goats through bioTrack will help farmers adapt their breeding, management and feeding programs to improve profitability, which will strengthen our sector,” says project co-ordinator Kevin Weaver of Ontario Goat (OG). “Ultimately we want to have the ability to trace meat goats from farm of origin to market and bioTrack is a key part of the infrastructure we need to do this.”
The development of bioTrack for meat goats, which is available to producers starting March 26, is part of a two year traceability pilot project led by Ontario Goat. It includes using radio frequency identification (RFID) technology to help goat producers record and analyze health, production and genetic data from their livestock, as well as a feasibility study on tracking goat movement from farm to market and capturing carcass information at the processing plant.
“Traceability in our food system is very important and we are pleased that we’ve been able to extend our bioTrack system to include meat goat producers as well,” says Betty-Jo Almond from BIO. “Online record-keeping makes it easy to capture and manage data which can help improve efficiency and profitability.”
Eight farms are currently part of the pilot, with room for seven more. Participation includes implementing and using the bioTrack program, registering their farms with Angus GeoSolutions Inc. for premises identification, identifying all their livestock with RFID tags, collecting data for genetic evaluations and managing and recording all animal movement on their farms through to the point of sale.
Farmers interested in participating in the pilot project or seeking more information about bioTrack can contact Kevin Weaver at Ontario Goat for more information. The project is funded through the Traceability Foundations Initiative, a federal-provincial cost-shared initiative. The federal funding investment is made through the Agricultural Flexibility Fund.
Ontario Goat represents Ontario’s milk, meat and fibre goat farmers with a united voice and is dedicated to enhancing the goat industry through education, collaboration, innovation and strategic alliances. For more information, visit www.ontariogoat.ca.
For more information please contact:
Jennifer Haley, Executive Director, (519) 824-2942 or firstname.lastname@example.org