US-based son of the soil empowering Jamaican goat farmersMonday, August 16, 2021
Owner and operator of Gold Mine Boers International Samuel Golding has always been passionate about livestock farming. He turned that passion into a successful business rearing, breeding and selling highly sought after Boer goats around the world, and now he's using his expertise to empower other Jamaican farmers to help strengthen the local agricultural industry.
The May Pen, Clarendon native, whose goat farm is based in Texas, in the United States, was one of the main speakers at the Nutramix inaugural GOAT seminar held recently and was glad to fulfil his dream of giving back to Jamaica through his knowledge of goat rearing and reproductive technology.
“The goal is to have more people involved in livestock farming and for them to understand that it has economic advantages,” said Golding.
The long-time farmer has seen for himself where livestock farmers — particularly those who raise goats, which are in high demand — have the capacity to be big earners, as long as they have the right tools, know-how and management practices.
According to Golding, farmers have to choose the right breed of animals and to carefully use artificial insemination techniques to build a herd of goats that can turn a sizeable profit.
He spent years honing his skills on his farm in Texas but he has a special love for Jamaican farmers and hopes for a viable future for the goat industry here.
Golding, who left Jamaica for the US to pursue higher education in 1998, is the son and grandson of part-time farmers. He also has other relatives who earned from the soil, so his agricultural education started very young.
“Farming is a necessity that we need to feed our nation,” declared Golding as he argued the latest projections on food availability, and access world wide, should spur more Jamaicans to want to grow their own food.
He pointed to the goat industry specifically, where a reported more than 70 per cent of the meat consumed in Jamaica is imported.
“I see the projections and if we're not becoming self-sufficient, as Jamaicans, we're going to starve. I hate to ring that bell but for years we've talked about producing for ourselves but now we need to put those conversations into practice,” said Golding whose company, Gold Mine Boers International, has already joined in the local efforts to increase production of quality goats.
The company is a partner in the Newport Mills Limited genetics programme aiming to strengthen the local small ruminants industry.
As part of the partnership with Newport Mills, Gold Mine Boers International supplies quality semen from Boer goats to help Jamaican farmers to improve their herd quality and meat production.
The farmer, who fondly recalls visiting the Denbigh Agricultural Show every year in his childhood, was especially ecstatic to return to his roots to speak at the GOAT Seminar.
“I used the opportunity to speak to the farmers about breeding and genetics, artificial insemination and different reproductive technology that are available to them on the international and local front.”
In addition, Golding did live demonstrations and shared his general knowledge at the free seminar.
Dedicated to the cause he shared that this trip to Jamaica was originally to celebrate his mother's 79th birthday but, “I didn't mind taking the time out to speak with other farmers”.
When he looks back at his formative years, travelling to Hayes for the agricultural programme at Vere Technical, and then later signing up for anything livestock related at the College of Agriculture, he feels fulfilled with his decisions to dive head first in the viable livestock farming industry.
Golding said he's forever grateful for his parents — Samuel and Edith Golding— for influencing and supporting his love of farming and he wants to encourage others in Jamaica to keep the tradition alive and to secure the future of food availability in Jamaica.
“My vision for leaving Jamaica was to come back and impact the poorer population and specifically, women. I am just using goats and livestock rearing to share the little knowledge I have and somehow inspire folks to be better,” added Golding.