Dairy goat producers can now access a range of herd management services through Holstein Australia, the country’s largest dairy cattle breed society.
Chris Lamin, secretary of newly-formed Australian Dairy Goats said the arrangement would also allow members’ herd data to be professionally managed and integrated, particularly data from herd recording, registration and classification.
“Being such as small industry, it is not economically viable for us to develop data bases and services from scratch. The alliance with Holstein Australia enables us to piggy-back on their experience, staff and systems in place,” she said.
Dairy farmer and owner of Allawoona Dairy Goats at Briagalong in Gippsland, Chris Lamin said Australian Dairy Goats Inc was formed to promote genetic improvement of all dairy goats in Australia.
“ADG is a commercially-focused organisation offering breeders genetic improvement facilities, including classification, estimated breed values, DNA profiling and stud registration.”
The availability of breeding values will mean that, for the first time, goat buyers will be able to see objective, performance information about members’ animals for sale.
“At the moment if you want to buy a stud buck the best available information is likely to be its dam’s 24-hour production figures. With dairy cows it’s the norm to expect production figures for a whole lactation and that’s the direction we want to head. Holstein Australia has the tools and the people to take us there,” she said.
Ultimately the organisation aims to provide progeny testing, estimated breeding values and DNA (genomic) services.
Holstein Australia’s chief executive officer Graeme Gillan said the alliance was a ‘win-win’.
“For Holstein Australia, this is an opportunity to add value to the dairy goat industry through services that we are already well-placed to provide. At the farm level, there’s a big difference between cows and goats but in terms of genetics and records management, the needs are very similar so it’s relatively straightforward for us to provide the services that Australian Dairy Goats are looking for,” he said.