When Passion gets the better of an OFW: Success Story of a Dairy Goat Farmer in Pampanga
Randy O. Valerio is a typical farm boy who loves agriculture. He hails from Cabiao, Nueva Ecija. He studied at Central Luzon State University where he took a short course in Mango Production as per prodding of his uncle who owns an orchard.
While in school, he also took a shot on Agri Mechanization. He had the chance to visit and see the goat farm project of the school and was fascinated by what he saw. He bought a buck for P6,000 and used this to upgrade the native goats that they have. These then doubled in a couple of months and that was when R.O Valerio Dairy farm began! From his earnings, he started his construction business.
However, the lure of working overseas beckoned as he has a brother who was working in Taiwan at that time. From 2007 to 2011, he worked as a welder in Taiwan where he honed his skills and was able to translate this to dabble in construction upon his return in the Philippines. This gave him enough time to earn and save. In 2011, he got married and started a family. His wife is from Balanga, Bataan and they tended to some 80 native goats for grazing. They also had raw land in Hermosa, Bataan. Initially, they thought of selling these goats for meat but sales come in trickles. Asked on the challenges of raising goats by grazing, he enumerated rampant theft, high mortality, and the prevalence of parasites thus turning the business unprofitable.
They bought Anglo-Nubian and Saanen breeds from their savings of P200,000. They also invested in buying a 7,906-square-meter lahar area in Bacolor and started building elevated housing for their dairy goats. To date, they have a herd inventory of 185 head consisting of 67 dams; 34 breedable does; 4 bucks; 17 bucklings; 29 doelings; and 34 kids.
The average production, for now, is 20 liters. As the frozen milk adds up, Randy posted the 30 liters available milk in The Marketplace. Apparently, there is a growing market for goat’s milk for pet lovers and Pet Clinics. These are staples for dogs.
In October 2019, he was awarded 9 Murrah Buffaloes from the Philippine Carabao Center aside from his prevailing 30 heads on the condition that sharing is 50/50 for calves. The milk will be for the owner.
The feeding regimen on the farm consists of chopped Napier, mulberry, Madre de agua, Madre de cacao topped with Oregano. The goats also have their share of gromax feeds. The total cost of production amounts to P30 per head per day.
Sometime in 2017, the Randy Valerio Farm was granted 800 De Kalb chicken by the Agricultural Training Institute (ATI) and at the same time, was chosen to be one of the ATI-accredited Training facilities in the region. He also tends to some 500 chicks, 20 heads Bengala and 3 rabbits.
Randy’s farm is also currently being used as NDA’s learning site for the incoming goat technicians and farmer-beneficiaries of the Intensified Community-Based Dairy Enterprise Development Project.
For those who want to be a dairy goat raiser like him, his advice is to be passionate about this endeavor. They may start with 10 heads focusing on the type of breed that they want to manage. They should start building the shelter and prepare the forage or pasture area. They should also educate themselves on the proper management of goats by attending training and seminars as much as possible.