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Jelle's experiences as a vitalizer in Canada

Since two years Vitalvé has been active in Canada, especially in the provinces of Ontario and Quebec. Within this region we offer active business support to dairy goat farms, thanks to our dedicated team of specialists: Maksym Baranok and Jelle Vogels. Jelle, who is also a familiar face at Vitalvé Netherlands, is happy to share his experiences in Canada.

Vitalvé operates in a region of Canada that, by comparison, extends over an area larger than just northwestern Europe. To properly serve these customers, we work in close cooperation with our nutrition team in the Netherlands and our compound feed suppliers. These compound feed companies are spread across several locations in both provinces. "This is essential to serve our customers smoothly and with appropriate customization," says Jelle.

"In Canada, we face a wide variety of challenges. One of the most obvious challenges is the climate and type of foundation." Jelle explains that the climate varies greatly by region because of Canada's vastness. "In northern Quebec, goat farmers struggle with harsh winters and shorter growing seasons, while those in southern Ontario face somewhat 'milder' conditions and better soil type. This directly affects the availability of resources and the quality of forage grown during the year."

Jelle: "These differences in climate and soil diversity also lead to diversity in forage types and quality. Shorter growing seasons and soil fertility can affect the nutritional value of roughage, which in turn affects the overall nutrition of dairy goats. Vitalvé supports the farmer in the proper use of products. Our aim is to make this practical and feasible for the customer, using the right protocols and follow-up."

"In addition, as in the Netherlands, animal performance is a major challenge," says Jelle. "Temperatures can be far apart in a relatively short period of time, such as last summer where there were several periods above 35ºC. When animals face heat stress, dry matter intake goes down dramatically. This again affects the performance of dairy goats. This means that the ration must be as palatable as possible to stimulate dry matter intake as much as possible." 

Jelle truly sees Vitalvé as adding value to Canadian farmers. "I believe that success comes from a combination of all aspects, down to the smallest details. From nutrition to animal health. It's especially important to match this to the needs of the different life stages of the goat and the farmer's environment."