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Goat industry poised to invigorate New Zealand farming


Goat industry poised to invigorate New Zealand farming

New Zealand’s goat sector has taken a positive step towards a profitable, sustainable future following the conclusion of the inaugural NZGoats conference, held in Queenstown last weekend.

“For the first time, the event brought together three organisations representing the New Zealand goat fibre and goat meat sectors; Mohair New Zealand (Inc.), Meat Goat New Zealand and the New Zealand Boer Goat Breeders Association (Inc.),” says Dawn Sangster, Chairperson of NZGoats.

“The event marked the first conference of NZGoats, an organisation established by Mohair NZ and Meat Goat New Zealand and operating under the Federated Farmers umbrella. The objective is to add value by fostering the development of a reinvigorated and unified goat sector,” Dawn Sangster continued.

The value of open dialogue on common issues was seen as an immense opportunity to build the goat industry in New Zealand. This event provided the first occasion for some years where Boer goat breeders had the opportunity to meet their Mohair colleague’s face-to face.

“The opportunity for farmers to visit both Angora and Boer goat farms on the two field trips, together with the social interaction that the conference, fostered was especially valuable ” Geoff Muggeridge, the NZ Boer Goat Breeders Association Chairman added.

The 2014 conference was fortunate to have a number of high calibre industry speakers providing reports of practical use to goat farmers.
“Presentations challenged those attending to think critically about their industry and how they can work with others in the value chain to farm goats sustainably and profitably,” explained Doug Lineman, Chairman of Meat Goat New Zealand.

While the NZGoat industry was realistic that there were challenges to overcome, before a sustainable and profitable sector on equal footing with sheep and beef or dairy farming was realised, this event marked an important first step.

“Goat farming is very well placed to capitalise on environmental constraints likely to increasingly impact New Zealand’s wider pastoral farming system. We believe the industry has a very bright future indeed,” concluded John Woodward, Chair of Mohair New Zealand.

Ends

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