Goats push farm to national prominence
WHAT started as an embryo of an idea has grown into a regional success story for Booma Boers Farm.
The Dorrigo farm is home to 5000 goats raised for the domestic meat market, but sights are now set on expanding operations into dairy production, as well as exporting goat, lamb and pork to international markets.
Fifth-generation owner Justin Gilbert said goat embryos purchased from South Africa 15 years ago had developed into the commercial herd, which could grow to 50,000 in the next few years.
"We've been operating commercially for seven years and we're now diversifying into goats' cheese, ice-cream and soaps and looking to hopefully export cheese and milk to international markets," Mr Gilbert said.
"There was little competition and an increasing demand for goat products so we seized the opportunity, bought new machinery, and obtained a dairy licence."
Milking takes place in Dorrigo and Mr Gilbert said plans are afoot to build an on-site factory to aid the expansion into cheese.
The plans mark the latest development for the company, which currently supplies goat meat to 65 Woolworths stores.
Mr Gilbert said a recent deal brokered with Woolworths' distribution centre will mean Booma will sell into every Woolworths store in Australia from February next year.
During a visit to the farm on Monday, Federal Minister for Agriculture Barnaby Joyce and Member for Cowper praised the operation.
"Booma Boers is an example of a dynamic company which has anticipated consumer demand and expanded their customer base due to their vision and belief in innovation," Mr Joyce said.
"Not only are we proud to have a North Coast business succeeding on the national stage, Booma Boers is a huge benefit to the Dorrigo community, creating more local jobs for local people and that could expand exponentially if they establish international export agreements," Mr Hartsuyker said.