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24 March, 2022

Goat production up-and-coming

Jo and Craig Stewart’s Goat Production Day was a huge success, with double the number of participants as last year.

By Emily Middleton

Craig and Jo Stewart, Jenny Bradley, Dr Emma Doyle, and Jarrod Lees.

Held last Friday, March 18, it was the second time the annual event has been held. Industry professionals travelled from across the country to speak to goat producers about the up-and-coming goat industry.

Gilgandra’s very own Jenny Bradley was a speaker at the event, and used her interchangeable knowledge of the sheep industry, to talk about measuring goats for success.

“Within my sheep industry, I concentrate on the commercial side of things and then the seed stock side, to drive all the eating quality traits that you can’t see, but we can measure them.

“Days like today are massively important. Today is so exciting because it’s really an emerging industry, there’s so much potential, huge potential. You’ve got goat producers who have got 60 up to 10 thousand goats here today,” said Mrs Bradley.

Researchers from the University of New England (UNE) also presented at the production day, where they focused on things such as chemical control and goat meat quality. Dr Emma Doyle originally had a background in sheep, however realised there was a hole in the market.

“Coming from sheep, it’s been a nice transition into goats because I realised, they had such a big issue with parasites, with very little chemical controls on hand for things.”

Jarrod Lees, another researcher at UNE, saw an opportunity come up a few years back to look at the eating quality of goats.

“Where Emma saw the parasite side of things and the need for chemical control, I saw the need for goat meat to be recognised that it’s got good quality, and then actually market that good quality and try and build a secondary income stream for goat meat. It’s not just a curry house in Sydney or export type thing,” said Mr Lees.

The speakers agreed that the goat production day was an incredibly important day for bringing the industry together.

“Everyone needs to come together and work together for a common goal which is building the industry and allowing producers to make the most money they possibly can out of it,” said Mr Lees.

“I think too because it hasn’t been an established industry, we are now at a point where all of a sudden bucks are worth a fortune, so you can try and be on the front foot of an industry that is starting to really take off.”

The day was topped off by goat pies provided at lunch, a definite crowd favourite.

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