Goat Fibre

Goat Fibre Extension Project Steering Committee

Ellen Buckle (Chair)

AgriFutures Australia

Ellen is skilled at working in complex, challenging, and politically difficult areas, involving multiple stakeholders. She has a diverse background in the agricultural supply chain, ranging from working in an abattoir to coordinating trade missions for Queensland companies. Throughout her career, and in her current role as Senior Manager, Levied Industries (Tea Tree Oil, Buffalo, Goat Fibre, Deer and Kangaroo) Ellen has worked in various facets of the agricultural sector, including research projects, policy development, industry strategy, and much more. Her expertise extends to farm animal health and welfare, biosecurity, food safety, product integrity, trade, market access, and managing issues related to contentious topics, such as live exports.

Grant Forsdick

Australian Mohair Marketing Organisation Ltd

Grant has over 25 years of experience in improving and growing businesses across Australia, New Zealand, and South Africa. He currently focuses on assisting family businesses to increase enterprise value before an exit. Grant is also passionate about agricultural technologies that improve yields through soil biology. He owns around 400 Angora Goats on a 100-acre property in the Towamba Valley and has successfully applied regenerative farming practices to double paddock carrying capacity and increase average selling prices by over 20%. As Chairman of the Australian Mohair Marketing Organisation Ltd and Vice President of Mohair Australia Ltd, Grant envisions a unified and growing mohair industry, driven by best practices in animal health, product quality, sustainability, and corporate governance, attracting future local growers and gaining global recognition.

Nick Gorrie

Mohair Australia Ltd

Nick has been involved in the industry for over 30 years and started from small beginnings with a small mob of 4 goats on an agisted farm outside Canberra in 1989. Over time, with his family, Nick has grown their Angora Goat operation into a large stud and commercial herd producing over 3 tonnes per year of quality mohair on their own farms. He is currently the National President and Director of Mohair Australia Ltd and a Director of the Australian Mohair Marketing Organisation (AMMO). Nick has a strong appetite to see the Australian Mohair industry grow by 20%, which will benefit all stakeholders.

Emma Grabham

AgriFutures Australia

Emma will shortly commence with AgriFutures Australia permanently in the newly developed position of Senior Manager of Adoption and Communications after filling a 12-month maternity leave position as a Levied Industries Senior Manager looking after the Rice, Export Fodder, Pasture Seeds and Ginger research programs including oversight of all people and projects. Additionally, Emma held a suite of projects in the Genetics, Extension and Capacity Building priorities of the Rice Program. Previously Emma has worked across the wine grape and wool industries, in both industry organisations and private consultancies. She is also a woolgrower living on-farm in the Bathurst region of NSW, and recently chaired the SheepConnectNSW Producer Advisory Panel providing oversight to Wool Innovation’s extension program in NSW.

John Hoornweg

Australian Mohair Services

John is an experienced primary producer with a career spanning over 45 years. Throughout his extensive tenure, he has managed various livestock operations, including Angora goats, beef cattle, and sheep. As the owner of Australian Mohair Services, he has been actively involved in the mohair industry. With two decades of expertise, he has made contributions to sheep breeding, woolclassing and valuation, collaborating with prominent organisations worldwide. For 22 years, he has also served as an Alpaca classer for reputable international clients. Additionally, John has garnered respect as a judge at esteemed shows, evaluating Angora Goats and Mohair for over 40 years across multiple states and overseas.

Dr Andrew James

Australian Cashmere Marketing Corporation

Dr Andrew James holds a PhD from the University of Queensland, has been a cashmere producer since 1982 and has held various industry positions including Director of Cashmere Marketing at the Australian Cashmere Marketing Corporation, President of the Australian Cashmere Growers Association and membership of various advisory committees for RIRDC and now AgriFutures. He developed the Cashmere Credentialling program to assure stewardship of Australian Cashmere for human, animal and environmental well-being. Dr James is engaged in vertical integration of cashmere production, processing and identity preservation through to manufacture of garments in partnership with designers.

Dr Melanie Smith

Meat & Livestock Australia

Melanie is currently the Program Manager of Sheep and Goat Productivity at Meat & Livestock Australia (MLA). Her background is in applied and practical research, with a focus on enhancing animal productivity and sustainability across the red meat supply chain. As a producer herself, Melanie brings a unique blend of skills and perspectives to her role at MLA.