With the increasing demand for goat milk in Ontario, the province’s dairy goat industry has grown immensely in the last few years. There’s such a great potential for expansion; new producers are getting into goats and existing producers are looking at ways they can increase their milk yields. While this is exciting, it also poses some real challenges for farmers in the management of their operations. Ontario Goat (OG) hopes to address these challenges at their Annual General Meeting (AGM) and Producer Education Day February 24, 2016 at Goff Hall in Woodstock.
With the increased demand for goat dairy products and new entrants looking to join the industry, it is important for new and existing producers to have a thorough understanding of goat udder health and how it relates to quality of milk production. The mammary system is unique in goats and we cannot simply take established dairy cow practices and just shrink them down. Specific and targeted investment is needed to explore goats as its own animal and more educational resources need to be provided. For this and many other reasons, we are excited to have Dr. Paula Menzies from the University of Guelph speak about mastitis and goat udder heath. She will also launch her new manual, A Guide to Udder Health for Dairy Goats, which comes out of extensive research and industry collaboration.
The packed agenda also includes educational presentations from Dr. Bradley White, Trent University, on genetic resistance and susceptibility to scrapie disease; and Jillian Craig, Sheep & Goat Specialist with OMAFRA, will present an overview on the economics of raising buck kids with a focus on management and feeding practices to maximize market returns. In addition to the fantastic educational speakers, the winners of the annual Ontario Goat Advocate Award will be announced. These winners are individuals who exhibit industry dedication and leadership and are a point of strength in the industry.
The event, which runs from 10:00am to 3:00pm, also features a trade show and buffet luncheon. Registration is free to OG members; non-members and industry partners are $45. Pre-registration is required. For more information or to register, please contact the OG office at 519-824-2942, toll free at 1-866-311-6422 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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