The Argonaut Project is the name of the BAS project to be launched in 2009 to provide breeders with an objective way to select stud males, one that is based on real science and measurable genetic gains for specific traits.
Most breeders will have heard reference to the Australian AGE scheme and in addition there have been articles in both this magazine and in Alpaca about schemes for other livestock, schemes which come under various acronyms: BLUP, EBV, PTA, EPD etc. Rather than produce yet another acronym the BAS has decided to create a project name which utilises some classical mythology based on Jason?s search for the Golden Fleece.
Rather like the task that faced Jason when he set sail in his boat the Argo, there is no easy pathway to success and it will involve work by all those who take an interest in the quality of their breeding programmes. But the end result is going to be that anyone who subscribes to the project will have easy access to a database that will provide objective results so that they know where to go for the most suitable stud males in the country ? or possibly in Europe.
The BAS is currently in conversation with various external agencies that can provide the necessary support for this massive work. It will not be without cost and there will be no instant results but the plan is to launch the project in 2009 so that the necessary data can start to be collected and collated at the earliest opportunity. The project will not work unless there is a reasonable take-up from members as it relies heavily on gathering in the data from as many progeny as is possible.
More detail will be forthcoming both at the Futurity and at the BAS AGM. But below you will find the new logo for the Argonaut Project, which it is hoped you will come to see more and more as breeders join in and participate in what is one of the most exciting developments in our industry.