History

The goat was the second animal to be domesticated by man, the first being the dog. Sheep, pigs and cattle were not domesticated until about 2000 years later. The usefulness of goats as agricultural animals was recognized long before recorded history. Evidence shows that the nomadic people of the Middle East tended goats as early as 10,000 years B.C. as ancient cultures and tribes began to keep goats for milk, hair, meat, and skins.

History reveals that goats were often carried on ships as a source of fresh milk by early explorers to the New World, including Captain Cook and Christopher Columbus. Cashmere and mohair, luxurious fibres produced by goats, first attracted the attention of Europeans in the early 1800s. The first definite and tangible proofs of soap making are found in the history of ancient Rome, where soap is described as being made from goats' tallow and causticized wood ashes. Historically, goat hides have been used for water and wine bottles, and to produce parchment, which was the most common material used for writing in Europe until the invention of the printing press.

In Africa, the Middle East, Asia, South America, the Caribbean Islands and the Mediterranean countries, goats are valued as a favourite source of meat, and goat meat is often the staple of traditional meals for festive occasions and celebrations. It is a little known fact that goat meat (chevon) is eaten more than any other red meat worldwide. And, even in this day and age, more than half the world's population drinks goat milk. For years, the goat has been called "the poor man's cow" because it is smaller and eats less than a cow, yet provides ample milk for a family.

Goats did not have much presence in North America until the 1920s when purebred dairy goats were imported from Europe. The goat industry in North America has been slow to develop as the traditional agricultural community has been reluctant to accept this species, about which much myth and not much fact is generally known. However goat keeping gained in popularity during the back-to-the-land movement in the 1960s and 1970s, and is currently enjoying another "boom" as Canada's population diversifies, bringing with it the culture and tradition of foreign lands.

AGA History

AGA board of directors has outlined, in previous issues of Small Farm Canada, the goals for our immediate future to increase membership, to develop mechanisms to provide stable funding from a consistent membership base, and to elevate the profile of AGA with producers, government, and consumers. AGA has made a good start working on these goals but we need your support to make sure we achieve them. Please consider all you have learned about the “NEW” AGA, and we ask that you take out your cheque book and show your support for your industry. Join your fellow producers in committing to the future of this industry, and thank you from the AGA board of directors for believing in the potential of our organization and our industry.

 

Membership changes starting 2013- background

The board of directors of the Alberta Goat Association would like to thank all of our present members for your support. Your contributions have provided us with the financial and moral support so vital to moving our industry forward. We have been working diligently to raise the profile of the goat industry in Alberta with our provincial and federal governments, consumers, our partners in the slaughter industry, industry partners in other provinces, and ALL goat producers in Alberta. Our convention, in 2012 in Ponoka, Alberta, was attended by goat producers from all around Alberta; they spent time considering the future of AGA and the path that the AGA board had worked so hard to carve out. Producers at the convention gave their enthusiastic support to the AGA board and their plan for the future. Producers voted to adopt AGA’s new vision statement: “AGA’s vision is to advance the growth of the goat industry to benefit Alberta goat producers.” This new vision is breathtakingly simple in its direction, and amazingly broad in its scope. The AGBA board has worked tirelessly to move this industry forward and they have accomplished an amazing amount on an extremely limited budget and on their committed voluntary time. Producers at our convention acknowledged, by a majority vote, that it was time to move AGA, YOUR industry organization, to the next level. To do so, there needed to be a change in our membership fee structure. In order to secure the future of our industry it is time to invest in our industry organization.

Fun Facts About Goats

  • A large goat can weigh well over 200 pounds.

  • Goats don't have any upper front teeth.

  • Both 'boy' and 'girl' goats can have beards.

  • There are over 210 breeds of goats in the world.

  • Goats have excellent night vision.

  • 90% of the world's goats live in tropical & sub-tropical areas.

  • More chevon (goat meat) is eaten in the world than any other red meat.

  • More than half the world's population drinks goat milk.

  • The pupil in a goat's eye is rectangular in bright light instead of round.

  • A group of goats is called a "trip of goats", most people use the term "herd".

  • Before coins were used for money, goats were traded for silver, because they were so valuable.

  • Twelve thousand year old paintings of goats gave been found on the walls of caves in Europe.

  • Columbus brought goats to America in 1493

  • Mahatma Gandhi lived mostly on goat milk for more than 30 years.

  • A goat will spend several hours a day eating and several hours a day thoughtfully chewing its cud.

  • The life span of a goat is about 15 years.

  • The age of a goat can be determined by its teeth.

  • Goats are ruminants which means they chew cud like cows and sheep. 

  • Coffee was first discovered when goat herders noticed the goats acting very energetic after

Get in touch with
any questions

Address

Box 5202 
Westlock, Alberta
T7P 2P4 

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Visitors to our website planning to purchase goats for the first time or to increase current numbers, would greatly benefit from a membership in this Association.  We are dedicated to educating and supporting our Membership with guidance in goat health and hygiene, transportation, sales and purchases.  We do not offer veterinary or legal advice but strive to educate people on some simple “do's” and “don'ts” basics to any business transaction.

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