Written by Stephan Wildeus, IGA Regional Director for USA, Canada & Puerto Rico.
Four national main goat events were held in the U.S. in 2013.
The American Dairy Goat Association Conference and Annual Convention, an eight-day event held in Asheville, NC. Shows and workshops were held during the convention. The IGA Secretary-Treasurer gave a workshop on “Integrated Gastrointestinal Parasite Control and FAMACHA Certification” and another on ‘Forages for Meat Goats”, and the official IGA poster, membership applications and ERCG2014 were displayed. The IGA secretary-treasurer also spoke briefly at one of the board meetings, describing IGA activities and thanking the American Dairy Goat Association for their sustained institutional financial support.
The 10th Anniversary of the American Consortium for Small Ruminant Parasite Control at Fort Valley State University, GA. This Integrated Parasite Management/Train-the-Trainer Conference educates stakeholders in the small ruminant industry on the most up-to-date methods and recommendations for gastrointestinal parasite control as well as providing training and certification in Integrated Gastrointestinal Parasite Management. Three IGA board members (Felipe Torres Acosta, Hervé Hoste and Jean-Marie Luginbuhl) are also members of the American Consortium and made oral presentations.
The National Goat Symposium, a two-day event in Greensboro, NC intended for goat producers and extension personnel. The event was composed primarily by 1890’s university extension staff and representatives of various goat organizations. The event covered a wide array of goat–related topics, including production, herd health, marketing, food safety, bio-security and fencing and forage management. The event also included a tour of a goat farm.
Meat goat symposium held during the American Society of Animal Science Annual Meeting. The IGA Secretary-Treasurer made an invited presentation on “Sustainable Feed and Forage Management for Meat Goats”. Other speakers made presentations on diverse topics related to reproduction, genetics, milk production, grazing management and animal performance, feeding, control of gastrointestinal parasites in small ruminants.
Annual Goat Field Days for producers were hosted at the following institutions in 2013:
Master goat producer certification programs were conducted at the following locations in 2013:
Workshops and events related to gastrointestinal parasite management and control were hosted at numerous locations and just a cross-section is provided here:
Specific workshops and events relating to reproductive management such artificial insemination and kidding management were host at the following locations:
Workshops and events related to nutrition, pasture management, goats as an alternative to herbicides for vegetation management and pasture maintenance, pasture choices for goats and establishment, integrating goats into beef cattle operations, were held at the following locations by the IGA Secreatry-Treasurer:
The board of the Canadian National Goat Federation, consisting of representatives from provincial and national organizations, continues to work on issues such as a mandatory traceability program for Canadian goats, as well as working with the Canadian Sheep Confederation on scrapie surveillance and eradication. A large goat herd in Ontario, Canada, was found to have positive cases of scrapie in December. Goats older than a year were tested and of these, about 20% tested positive. The herd totaled 450 animals.
Several regional associations in Canada underwent restructuring in 2013. The membership numbers of associations continues to be somewhat negatively impacted by "modern life," in particular the increasing reliance of goat breeders on the internet and social media to gain information and interact with other breeders.
Many conferences and goat shows were held, as usual, across Canada, with the focus on dairy, meat, and fibre production.
A trial was undertaken in British Columbia to assess the potential for transcervical embryo recovery from dairy goats under commercial conditions. A summary of this trial was published in IGA's newsletter in October 2013. A similar project took place in Ontario.
GoatKeeper magazine, a national publication of which I am editor, continues to include a page of IGA news, coming events, and research highlights in every issue. A copy of each issue of GoatKeeper is sent to the IGA office.
The International Goat Association promotes goat research and development for the benefit of humankind, to alleviate poverty, to promote prosperity and to improve the quality of life.