With over 500,000 kg of meat imported this year alone, the goat world is a booming industry.

Today is the last day of The Saskatchewan Goat Breeder's Association Trade show being held at the Golden Mile Arena. There has been kids entertainment, vendors, educational demonstrations and numerous shows to take in.

Rob Schill, President of Sask Goat Breeders Association, said the goat industry is a rapidly growing sector.

"The meat goat industry is really in it's infancy in the country and in Saskatchewan. The meat goat didn't come over here until 1996. It's been growing ever since. Statistics to this point, it's 456,000 kilograms of goat meat has been imported into Canada as of now, this year. 2018 statistics were just over 500,000 kilograms for the whole year, so we're importing way more than is produced here. We can't produce enough for the demand."

There's demand around certain holidays, said Schill, and there is also more non-traditional consumers of goat. As well, businesses out there that have begun to promote goat as a healthy alternative as it's the leanest of all red meats and healthy ethical meat production.

Schill said that the misconceptions around goat meat most likely stems from old cartoons.

"Lots of people think that goats are those tin can eating versions of the cartoons and they'll eat anything, and that's kind of the farthest from the truth. they're actually pretty selective on what they will eat and do require a good diet, high in protein."

The weekend will consist of 3 days of shows, education, trade show vendors for everything from ag equipment to useful books and more.

"We've got quality assurance training programs that is required for the CAP funding through the Saskatchewan Agriculture program being offered. Dr. Chris Clark came in on Saturday to talk about medication and parasites, along with any other questions people would have for him."

As well, there will be a triple sanctioned dairy goat show and duel sanctioned meat goat show. Multiple youth shows involving both goats and sheep, and even an obstacle course for the kids, said Schill. "They will have to lead a goat through hula hoops, through a gate and put it up on a stand at the end, grab water balloons and carry them, that sort of thing."

Included in the weekend festivities was a milking competition Saturday afternoon at 2 pm between Courtney Fielder from Country 100 and Milkmaid Mandy Manns taking place in the arena.

"We're going to do it as a demonstration on milking goats and then they're going to have a little head to head competition to see who can milk the most."

Hoping to attract anyone interested in the industry, whether it's meat, dairy, or just considering them as pets, Schill hopes many people come out to attend.

"There's also the fibre side of things where they make cashmere and angora sweaters are derived from goat fibres."

It's a free event, which has run all weekend long at the Exhibition Centre here in Moose Jaw.

More information can be found here.

 

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