There could be a lot more of these farm animals coming to the region.
When Feihe breaks ground this spring on its new infant formula plant in Kingston — goats milk will eventually become a key ingredient.
Richard Allen/ Manager of Economic Development, Frontenac County:
“That’s going to have to take about 5 to 7 years.
What we want to do is educate and grow a culture around goats and goat dairy. Building stronger herds and stronger knowledge around goats in Eastern Ontario… Especially in Frontenac County.”
Allen has put forward the idea that Frontenac County could be a leader in goat farming… maybe even the ‘Goat Capital of Canada”.
“Right now, what we know is that they intend to move to goat milk. They believe that goat milk is the future of infant formula globally.
And we know that they would prefer to source their milk as locally as possible.
So that paints a pretty clear picture that there is an opportunity for the municipalities that are in and around Kingston and close to the Feihe plant… especially Fronenac County.”
Right now, Ontario goat farms are scarce in comparison to dairy farms.
Local farmer, Ron Sleeth says the amount of goats to fill a quota that Feihe’needs… would be enormous.
Ron Sleeth/ Former Chairman, Frontenac County Milk Committee:
“It takes approximately 4 goats to 5 goats to equal the same amount of milk as one good holstein dairy cow produces… ”
” One thing is certain… Farming enough goats to service Feihe’s Kingston plant won’t be easy…
And it won’t be cheap.”
“Building the goat population in Frontenac County is going to be a big challenge.
It’s going to take support from the community, interest from the community.
It’s going to take support from the higher levels of government.”
“It would be a significant capital outlay both from a land based point of view and also, more so in the housing and milking equipment that would be required to milk a huge number of goats.”
Right now, this is just an idea. But both the County and local farmers agree that if the Chinese-based company was able to source their goat’s milk from nearby farmers, it would be huge boost to the region’s economy.
Callie Warren, CKWS News, Frontenac County.