Helping sheep and goat farmers improve productivity and increase supply with a new genetic services system

January 7, 2022 – Ottawa, Ontario – Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada

Today, the Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food, the Honourable Marie-Claude Bibeau, announced an investment of $495,000 for the Canadian Centre for Swine Improvement (CCSI) to enable stakeholders to work together to increase innovation and resiliency in Canada’s sheep and goat industries.

Through this investment, CCSI is collaborating with project partners on developing a Canada-wide integrated genetic services system to help sheep and goat farmers improve productivity and increase supply. Farmers will be able to use the new service system to access new developments and industry information on livestock genomics that can improve breeding and provide a more sustainable supply of high quality products along the sheep and goat value chains.

CCSI is working with a number of partners to integrate genetic services, including the Canadian Sheep Breeders Association, Ontario Sheep Farmers, the Canadian Goat Society, Canadian Livestock Records Corporation, Centre for Genetic Improvement of Livestock, Centre d’expertise en production ovine du Québec, AgSights, and the Canadian Meat Goat Association. The integrated system will include services such as phenotype measurements on traits such as growth rate and milk yield, training for farmers to adopt new technologies, genetic evaluation, and research and development.

Canada’s sheep and goat industries offer many growth opportunities for farmers across several agricultural sectors, including meat, dairy and fibre. Increasing industry collaboration in areas such as genetic services will benefit farmers with improved breeding stock to develop a more adaptable, competitive industry.

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