Behind The ADGA Linear Appraisal Program
Through the efforts of the Linear Appraisal Staff and Committees, program direction is established. It is also the responsibility of the committee, appraisers and ADGA staff to train and develop appraisers to perform their duties to desired standards. Once these individuals arrive at a session, there is assurance that they have received the preparation to provide members with accurate and beneficial evaluations.
Currently, the ADGA Linear Appraisal program has 10 individuals who can work seasonally as Appraisers, a Linear Appraisal committee, a Performance Program Manager and clerk.
- Our appraisers are trained professionals with expertise in the assessment of dairy goat conformation.
- An appraiser is independent but embraces the program direction. They are organized and able to think objectively in a variety of situations.
- They take pride in being able to educate about the program and believe customer service is paramount as they enjoy interaction with ADGA members.
- They must be able to enjoy life on the road and be a team player while working apart.
- How are appraisal skills developed and advanced? Good training requires a good system. In terms of ADGA’s appraisal program, that system is a training, refresher and monitoring program.
- The goal of training and monitoring is quality assurance, measured by the accuracy and uniformity of evaluations to a desired and developed standard. In addition, public relations, information value, and member satisfaction are very important indicators.
Training sessions allow for:
- Group and individual interaction to build skills and expertise as well as to gain consistency in a very short period of time
- Access to large groups and a variety of animals and breeds
- Field situations and dealing with realities
The annual refresher session adds to the training and field expertise through:
- Identification of trends and biases
- Review of the skills needed to go back into the field and continually improve upon individual performance
- Maintaining consistency through immediate feedback from all program perspectives
- Safety and health practices
Several means are available to monitor the performance of appraisers and the program:
- Analysis of questionnaires submitted by herdowners
- Member feedback received through phone calls, farm visits, and correspondence
- Continual analyses at the individual and program level
- Appraiser feedback
What Does It Take?
- Attendance at an evaluation workshop where readiness to be a trainee is assessed
- Once advancing to trainee status, attendance at a training session which is held in conjunction with the annual refresher
- Following approval to continue training, a minimum of 10 days training in the field with an appraiser.
- Assessment by trainers, committee and staff for readiness to work independently.
As An Appraiser, You Provide
- Working experience in the dairy goat industry
- Knowledge of linear and structural traits and how they correlate with function
- Post-secondary education (preferred), or comparable relevant experience
- Practical knowledge of dairy goat conformation
- Exceptional abilities in customer service and relationship-building
- Proficiency with computers; adaptable to new technology
- Valid driver’s license and proof of insurability
- Ability to arrange travel and scheduling tasks
- Ability to communicate well
ADGA Offers the Appraisers
- A post training $24-$34/hr. pay range for technical work
- Paid training & expenses if accepted into the program
- Minimum wage at the highest state level for non-technical work such as travel – no matter if in a state with a lower MW. Currently this is $13.50 with many states on track for $15/hr.
- Paid overtime per the rules of each state. This may be daily or weekly and is guaranteed
- Employer contribution to the ADGA pension plan once eligibility requirements are met
- Workman’s compensation coverage
- Per diem rate to cover meals
- Use of company credit card for any program expenses
- Double time pay on an ADGA holiday
- Extra stipend on top of wages for field trainers
- Pay at technical rate for any mandatory attendance events such as refresher or other meetings
- Pay for time spent arranging travel and lodging
- Vacation days and time when the stop has cancelled are paid
- Vacation days are paid even if not used during a trip but earned
- Guarantee of no less than the previous daily rate model
- Option to provide the days and times of the year for work; no required minimum
- All expenses paid related to the linear sessions (travel, lodging, mileage, equipment)
- Special attention to scheduling personal herd session to coordinate with travel commitments
- Work that might coincide with traveling for personal reasons to appraise and earn extra income
- Offered special sessions and workshops throughout the year
- Annual opportunity to order custom work apparel at no cost
- 24/7 backup while in the field
- Opportunity to provide technical expertise on the LA committee