Breeders association hosts convention

The goat industry in Alberta continues to grow as demands for their meat increases.

Lamancha goats

The goat industry in Alberta continues to grow as demands for their meat increases.

The first annual goat convention and production sale was hosted by the Alberta Goat Breeders Association (AGBA), funded by ALMA and many other sponsors and held at the Ponoka Ag Event Centre during the weekend.

Those who attended learned the ins and outs of the goat industry. “It’s basically an information session … goats, the industry, stakeholders, networking opportunities for producers,” said Laurie Fries, vice-president of AGBA.

“Because Canada has had a huge increase in the ethnic population—one of their main staples is goat meat and products,” said Fries.

However, Fries says that isn’t the only reason the goat industry is doing well. There’s also a high demand for other fresh, local products such as cheese, milk and fiber for clothing.

Fries is finding people are returning to their rural roots but don’t have the money or the space for herds of larger livestock, such as cattle. Instead they raise goats. “It’s an opportunity to have a valued production on smaller, less fertile land.”

Goats have also become an important part of a grazing technique called multispecies grazing. Fries said goats eat what other livestock won’t. Instead of using pesticides, livestock producers will use goats to eat down weed and brush. Then cattle or horses will eat the grass.

Fries said the growing popularity of green initiatives and decrease in pesticide usage is an advantage to breeders.

Goat products are also becoming more popular because their milk doesn’t contain lactose. “It’s the same with the cheese products,” said Fries.

The convention also included veterinary topics and emergency preparedness. If there was a large fire in Ponoka County would livestock producers know what to do with their animals; lock them up or let them flee, explained Fries.

“We also have a bit of a different twist,” she said. “How do we, as livestock people, fit into agriculture?”

The included production sale featured a variety of goat breeds used for different products.

“We’re offering top quality breeding stock for interested producers,” said Fries, who explained the stock could be used to start or expand herds, or change genetics.

A basic female goat costs around $450, and a male $500. Fries says prices increase with the quality of the goat.

Just Posted

Environment Minister clarifies misconceptions in Bighorn proposal

Minister Shannon Phillips speaks to concerns around the Bighorn Country

Three Ponoka men and one youth charged in assault case

Police obtained a search warrant and located drugs and sawed-off shot gun

Snowfall adds some delay to morning commute

The QE2 and area road conditions in central Alberta were partly snow covered

New market opens in downtown Ponoka

Makkinga Market had a soft opening showcasing many of the different foods in store

Ponoka council challenged on payments on new building

Resident continues worries the town is paying over $94,000 per month on something it may never own

Trudeau says politicians shouldn’t prey on Canadians’ fears

The Prime Minister was speaking at a townhall in Ontario

Olympian snowboarder Max Parrot diagnosed with Hodgkin’s lymphoma

Each year in Canada, approximately 900 people are diagnosed with Hodgkin’s lymphoma

‘Prince of Pot’ Marc Emery accused of sexual assault, harassment

Emery denied the allegations, but a Toronto woman says she is not the only one speaking out

Asteroids are smacking Earth twice as often as before

The team counted 29 craters that were no older than 290 million years

Canada’s arrest of Huawei exec an act of ‘backstabbing,’ Chinese ambassador says

China has called Canada’s arrest of Huawei chief financial officer Meng Wanzhou ‘politically motivated’

In limbo: Leftover embryos challenge clinics, couples

Some are outright abandoned by people who quit paying storage fees and other couples struggle with tough decisions

Netflix rejects request to remove Lac-Megantic images from ‘Bird Box’

At least two shows on Netflix’s Canadian platform briefly use actual footage of the 2013 tragedy

Teen vaping is an epidemic: US government

E-cigarettes are now the top high-risk substance used by teenagers, outpacing cigarettes, alcohol, marijuana

Most Read