Angela McGregor takes up the presidency, and new members are introduced on to Council
At our recent AGM, we announced that Angela McGregor would step into the role of President of the Aberdeen-Angus Cattle Society. Angela of Whiterashes in Aberdeen steps in to the role in place of outgoing President Alex Sanger, having worked closely with Alex over the past year as Senior Vice President.
Paul Jeenes of Grandon Manor Farm in Somerset will take up the role of Senior Vice President, with his former position of Junior Vice President being filled by Alan Cheney of Co. Tyrone in Northern Ireland. Angela is the first female President at our Society since Marion Tilson in 2004, and in reaction to taking on the role has said:
"I feel very privileged to become president, following some great breeders whom I have grown up admiring incredibly. As a President we are in an honoured position, but it’s those around you that make being on Council worthwhile. It’s the work that happens every day in the office and on the farm, plus at the sales and shows that helps develop the business and breed. You meet many interesting people, learn a huge amount about what is going on in the industry and the world of science, and can see that the future is very exciting.’’
Angela comes from a family with a rich background in Aberdeen-Angus cattle breeding and currently oversees the operation at the Newcairnie herd. Her Grandfather previously owned the Murdochcairnie Aberdeen-Angus herd and her uncle farms the Ardcairnie herd of Angus in Western Australia. Angela’s father, also a past president, saw the true attributes of the pure Aberdeen-Angus as a commercial animal and expanded his Newcairnie Herd to exploit these characteristics. Speaking of her plans for the Society and some key concentration points during her presidency, Angela said:
“As a Society we have been through a lot in the past couple of years. We were lucky enough to work with a great Council for the past 12 months when I was Senior Vice President whose support was greatly appreciated. The new Council is very strong with great breeders, business minds and the enthusiasm to progress.
"We understand the Society is about the membership and it is our job to provide not only the administration to maintain the integrity of our breed, but to look at the opportunities to grow and to continue to make Aberdeen-Angus the number one choice for the beef producer. We had the World Angus Forum last year in the UK and Ireland, which was a great success and involved some wonderful knowledge sharing opportunities and the chance to learn about what other countries are doing, how they are embracing technology to aid them in production and their thoughts on the future direction for the breed.
"As a Society and Council we will aim to continue to improve communication to members and aid the membership by providing support at shows, open days and publicising the breed. We will do this by listening to what is needed, sharing knowledge on research projects and continuing to develop our unique Youth Program - encouraging the young and ‘not so young’ to consider Aberdeen Angus as their first choice. We want to maintain and develop our good relationships with processors and retailers, and we’re keen to explore opportunities to get closer to the consumer through providing support to small independent retailers that do such a good job selling our beef to the end customer.’’
Angela has also commented on where she would like to see the breed moving forward, saying:
“I’m keen to ensure that people see the true attributes of the Aberdeen-Angus. There is more to the breed than a premium. The Aberdeen-Angus cow is a true commercial animal. Pure Aberdeen-Angus can perform just as well as any cross bred animals, it’s about using them for what they’re good at, and that is producing top quality beef efficiently on a low-cost system.I’d like to see more large scale commercial herds with pure cows as well as bulls, and for the breeders and finishers to realise there is more to the breed than the premium, there is a premium to be gained at the bottom end too in the savings that can be made.
“As a finished article I’d personally like to see the breed involved in developing product with a guaranteed eating quality which can only go to help the future of our members. I have travelled to different areas of the world, working, attending seminars and being lucky enough to have received scholarships for studying beef quality which has broadened my knowledge and is a way I see our breed progressing.”
Angela enters her presidency with a strong background on all fronts, she studied BSc Agriculture at Aberdeen University and has a post graduate business management course diploma. With a strong commercial knowledge and practical experience of production, (having 200 cows whose progeny are finished on the farm through either Aberdeen-Angus Beef Schemes, her own shop or sold for breeding). On-farm practicalities, working for a farmer co-operative and spending a significant period working in meat wholesale, to retailing directly for the past 15 years, equipping her with a diverse knowledge of the whole process. Speaking about her background in the world of Aberdeen-Angus and the industry, she said:
"I have grown up surrounded by pure Aberdeen-Angus, they are the best beef breed in the world, and not only because of the wonderful tasting beef they produce, but as an animal, they are the most commercial you can get. In our own operation, efficiency and performance is the goal from selection and feeding right through to eating. I believe with a passion in the commercial traits of the breed and want its growth and progression in the marketplace to continue to dominate.''
Following the AGM which took place on Sunday 4th of February we have also introduced a selection of new members to the Council. Joining the existing Council team are Ken Howie, Ben Marsden, John James, Terry Ives and Louis Byrne. For more information including contact details for Council members, visit: www.aberdeen-angus.co.uk/the-society/the-council/.