STRATFORD, Ontario – Canada’s government is helping to increase profitability and access new markets for Ontario's goat industry by investing more than C$700,000 to establish an integrated dairy goat genetic improvement program. The announcement was made by Member of Parliament Gary Schellenberger (Perth-Wellington), on behalf of Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz.

Known as the GoGen pilot project, it will be overseen by Ontario Goat and its goal is to help the goat industry make genetic improvements to improve meat quality and increase milk production through superior genetics. The funds will also be used to update, modify and bring efficiencies to current goat genetic tools already provided by the goat industry.

"The goat industry represents one of the largest growth opportunities in Ontario agriculture today,"  Schellenberger said. "This project has great potential to help goat producers become more profitable, increase sales and access new milk and meat markets."

The pilot project will help determine the value and benefits of a domestic genetic improvement program specifically geared to the goat industry and will work with several existing programs, including for goat evaluations and Gencor (a leader in the cow genetics industry) on genetic evaluation and assessment of artificial insemination tools.