The goat industry has plenty of potential but to realise
that, there needs to be more goat breeders, Federated Farmers
NZ Goats chairwoman Dawn Sangster says.
''We have got to attract more breeders into the industry and
they have got to have a good experience,'' Mrs Sangster said.
''Then we can get more volume and give the processors more
confidence to market them [goats].
''They need a better surety of supply.''
She had just returned from attending the inaugural NZGoats
Conference, held in Queenstown from May 23 to 25.
The conference was a collaboration between Mohair New
Zealand, Meat Goat New Zealand and NZGoats, under the
Federated Farmers umbrella, and the New Zealand Boer Goat
Breeders Association and had the theme of adding sustainable
value to the industry.
Those attending visited Bill and Irene Campbell's property in
Dumbarton, near Roxburgh, to look at their mohair goats on
The weather shortened the trip to David Aitken's property
near Gibbston, which runs 2500 Boer goats, the next day.
Mrs Sangster said the visit was ''quite an eye-opener'' for
people who had not been in Central Otago to see the Boer
goats on hills and the effect they had on the weeds and
The conference went well and gave those attending the chance
to network with other goat breeders.
''They could see the potential for goats in Central Otago and
throughout New Zealand,'' she said.
Speakers included Federated Farmers' Jeanette Maxwell, who
talked about the levy process. A discussion followed about
whether a levy should be introduced.
''We decided at the end we should investigate further and see
how much money it would take.''
Other speakers included Richard Shaw, of AgResearch, who
discussed his Carla (Carbohydrate Larval Antigen) saliva test
Veterinarian Ginny Dodunski, of Taumarunui, discussed
parasite issues in goats, and was about to launch ''Wormwise
for Goats'', an information and best-practice package about
Beef and Lamb New Zealand project manager Fiona Carruthers
explained why they used young female athletes to promote
beef. ''People who are deficient in iron in New Zealand
tended to be young women,'' Mrs Sangster said.
''She said that we [goat breeders] should promote goat meat
not as being better than beef but as a part of the whole
Lean Meats chief executive Richard Thorp talked about
exporting issues and the need to have surety of supply.
Mrs Sangster said the industry's challenge was to engage and
work together with more goat farmers.