Services Provided by the ACGA

The Association provides a unified, National Cashmere Industry voice. It also provides strong producer support in the way of access to an extensive range technical publications eg RIRDC and other research papers. The ACGA has published Goat Notes which is a comprehensive guide to all aspects of commercial Cashmere farming. Large sections of this manual, eg those which cover health issues, fencing, handling & scoring of animals are applicable to all goat enterprises. This reference book is a wise investment for anyone in, or thinking of entering any of the goat industries.

ACGA members also receive regular information from their Association on the lastest trends and developments within their industry.

The ACGA produces a regular newsletter, Cashmere Update, to keep members informed of what is happening in their industry. Update is sent to all members by email (or posted to members without email), and is also available on request to non-members.

The ACGA also produces a magazine annually; Cashmere Australia. This magazine usually contains articles which can be kept as reference material. For example some articles contained in the Winter 2003 Cashmere Australia are:

  • Goat Nutrition- Minerals and Trace Minerals by Helen Simmonds
  • Breeding for Helminth Resistance in Fibre Goats by Dr S. Walkden-Brown, Dr B. Cook & Dr L Le Jambre
  • Goat Selection at Roseberg Cashmere by Simon Meek
  • The Importance and Objectives of Dehairing by Avtar Singh

As with the newsletters, Cashmere Australia is sent to all members. Copies of the current magazine and back copies are available from the ACGA's CEO upon request by non members, at a nominal cost.

The Association plays a major role in producer education through seminars and field days. These can be at a National level, eg the Australian Cashmere Research Workshop held in Newcastle in May 2004. However they are more usually organised and run by Regional Groups of the ACGA eg local Cashmere classing schools.

Cashmere Performance Recording

The National Evaluation of Sires for the Production of Quality Cashmere is based at the University of WA. It is a sire referencing project in which breeders of elite cashmere animals nominate superior bucks for use in the program. Semen is collected, frozen and then used over evenly matched does to produce kids. The fleece, body weight,conformation and worm resistance of the progeny is recorded for the next three years andestimated breeding values calculated (EBV) for the sires.

EBVs give a measure of the genetic worth of an animal that is independent of environmental factors (eg, season, nutrition, birth type). In this way sires from all over Australia can be compared for their relative genetic worth.

The ACGA also has ACGA Merrrit, a web-based across herd EBV program for the cashmere industry. Merrrit is a way for growers to participate in the performance recording of their flocks.Where across-herd genetic links are established, Merrrit will also allow the calculation of national EBVs for the whole flock. In this way growers can directly compare the genetic worth of their animals relative to all others included in Merrrit program.These comparisons will be independent of environmental effects (eg, season, nutrition, birth type).

Merrrit is under active development, and results from EBV analysis will be updated as new animal records come into the program. Please check back every month or so to see the progress.