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Goat meat comes under scrutiny

DIANE BISHOP
Last updated 07:59 13/05/2014
A goat
Fairfax NZ
HERE'S LOOK AT YOU KID: The New Zealand Goats conference aims to raise the profile of Boer goat farming.

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Is goat meat nutritionally superior or is it beef and lamb's poor cousin?

That question will be one of many answered at the first New Zealand Goats Conference in Queenstown from May 23 to 25.

The event is being hosted by the Federated Farmers Goat Industry Group along with Meat Goat New Zealand and the New Zealand Boer Goat Breeders Association.

Federated Farmers industry advisor David Burt said goat meat led global red meat consumption and it had a lot to offer New Zealand red meat farming businesses.

However, there was much to do to rebuild and grow the goat meat and mohair industries, he said.

New Zealand Goats was recently established by Mohair New Zealand and Meat Goat New Zealand with the aim of adding value to the New Zealand goat sector.

Burt said the conference was aimed at both experienced goat farmers and those interested in goat farming as a way to diversify their farm business and spread their financial risk.

There will also be an opportunity to visit one of the country's most extensive high country Boer goat farming operations in the Gibbston Valley.

Burt said the conference would also include topical presentations from speakers involved in different parts of the sector.

Fiona Carruthers, Beef + Lamb New Zealand project manager and nutritionist, will discuss whether goat meat is nutritionally superior or beef and lamb's poor cousin.

Richard Shaw, a senior scientist at AgResearch, will talk about his research work on improving the farmability of goats and reducing the costs of parasites while Ginny Dodunski, from Totally Vets, will speak about the residual goat meat levy funded research.

Richard Thorp, chief executive of Lean Meats, will cover some aspects of goat meat processing. To find out more about the conference email David Burt dburt@fedfarm.org.nz diane.bishop@stl.co.nz

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