The Guernsey Association of Canada's new field man has one goal in mind.
The Guernsey Association of Canada’s new field man has one goal in mind.
Russell Gammon says his desire as he takes on this newest challenge and “in alignment,” with the national association, is to “enhance the supply of Guernsey females in Canada.”
“This is real early days,” he said, adding he really hadn’t yet even met with the board.
Gammon signed on with the Guernsey association on April 1 and says he’s hoping to make that happen “as easily as possible.”
Gammon, who managed Jersey Canada through 20 years of explosive growth, takes over from Rob Forster who resigned the position to join the Guernsey board in March.
Strategies, Gammon says, include making sexed semen available, promoting ET or even facilitating the importation of Guernsey animals, including herds, from the United States into Canada.
Since retiring from Jersey Canada, Gammon has filled in there for a maternity leave and headed SEMEX’s Jersey division. He spoke at the Guernsey Association of Canada annual meeting in March on the industry’s challenges in the future.
Gammon takes over, he says at an exciting time for the Guernsey breed and the dairy industry.
In an interview with Ontario Farmer, Gammon pointed to the provinces of Quebec and British Columbia where Guernsey herds have recently been imported from the United States. In addition, he says, the success of the Eby family’s marketing of Guernsey A2 milk here in Ontario, and the willingness of the dairy industry as a whole to embrace diversity in its milk offering; and A2 milk in particular, all add up to an exciting potential.
Gammon says the dairy industry, including the breed associations, “should all be working together.”
He applauds a dairy industry which encourages diversity among its milk offerings; and which has been encouraging on-farm processing and the development of niche products, pointing out that all are healthy choices.
He has been taking on “revenue-generating projects,” he says, adding that he has a heart for Guernseys, from his earliest memories of his maternal grandmother’s herd.
The Canadian Dairy Information Centre reports that in 2017, the last year for which it has complete records, 200 Guernseys were register in Canada. Fifty years ago, (1969), 4,049 Guernseys were registered in Canada and 1994 was the last year in which more than 1,000 were registered.
In addition, CDIC stats show that while the total number of registered females in Canada on milk recording dropped to an all-time low of 317 records in 2017, Guernseys also had their all-time highest average production topping almost 7,390 kilograms of milk and testing 4.77 for fat, 3.46 and posting its breed-leading highest ever 222 210 214 average BCA.
Gammon is committed to this newest job.
“Just like everything else, I don’t do things halfway,” he says.