Future looks good for goat meat, farmer says

Enfield farmer Owen Booth with his Supreme Champion Boer Goat at the Canterbury A&P Show last month. Photo supplied.
Enfield farmer Owen Booth with his Supreme Champion Boer Goat at the Canterbury A&P Show last month. Photo supplied.
Goats are great for North Otago farmer Owen Booth, no kidding.

Mr Booth won the Supreme Champion Boer Goat award at the Canterbury A&P Show last month.

Far from the creatures getting his goat, Mr Booth says he loves them.

''They are a great animal to work with,'' Mr Booth said.

''They are relatively intelligent ... and they enhance your pasture.''

Mr Booth started farming boer goats in 2005, but has had angora goats since the 1980s and has been a lifelong lover of farming.

''I have been involved in farming most of my life,'' he said.

''It's been my passion for my whole life.''

Mr Booth runs 114 boer goats on 21ha of hill country in Enfield, near Oamaru.

''We had our first kidding in 2006. I started off on Landcorp does back then,'' he said.

''I felt I reached a point in genetics that they were as far as they would go.''

He imported 15 does and a buck from Australia about a year ago and the return in genetics had been apparent with the success he had been having at shows, he said.

Mr Booth said he was ''extremely pleased'' with the award at the Canterbury A&P Show.

''It certainly gives us satisfaction with where we are heading with our animals.''

He saw the potential in the industry. However, more supply of boer meat was required to meet existing demand.

''It's a growing industry. There's huge potential out there. We just need to get the numbers up,'' Mr Booth said.

''Being the more multicultural country that we are now it's creating extra demand. The average Kiwi hasn't really eaten goat meat, but once they have they can't believe how tasty and tender it is.''

- Owen Booth is Southern Rural Life's new Farm Feedback columnist and his writing will appear regularly next year.