Bi-weekly update: 10th August 2018

Castle Of Mey pic2
10 August 2018

It’s fair to say that this summer has been one which is testing many to their very limits as they look to go about their daily business, with a lack of rain and moisture in the weather making things very difficult. The strong forage and bedding markets are a concern to many at present, with reports of first cut silage being used up with no signs of anything to come. There are many things that are within our control that we can do to make efficiencies in our businesses, but the weather is not one of them. Nature sometimes balances out, so let’s hope for a long and kind autumn to help everyone through. The farming stock phrase that springs to mind at this point is “it’s too wet, too dry or too expensive!”. Updates since the last include many calendar events as well as some extras – here is your bi-weekly round-up of all the need-to-know news from the Society.

Article in the Courier

Many of our Dundee and Aberdeenshire members have contacted the CEO about a photograph of Aberdeen-Angus Cattle that appeared in the Courier last week. The picture came from the Courier’s own bank of photography and was a very poor reflection of our breed, and it is a little unfortunate that this cannot be undone. Barrie Turner has contacted the Courier to give them access to some of our own images through Denvir and also to ask wherever possible for the opportunity to vet images prior to publication approval, particularly when associated with an editorial from the Society.  

Around the showground

The Show Season has continued in the last couple of weeks, with some great events featuring Aberdeen-Angus classes taking place up, down and across the country. The largest event was the Turriff Show which took place at the Haughs from 5th – 6th August, where the overall breed champion was announced as AJR Farms’ Kincardine Castle Flying Starlet. We brought you live results on the days of the events, along with a full round-up from the Aberdeen-Angus classes which can be viewed on the website at: http://aberdeen-angus.co.uk/news/show-news/2018-turriff-show-full-results/

The New Forest and Hampshire County Show also took place last week in what was described as one of the hottest shows of the Summer thus far. It was Temple Jupiter Eric who was tapped out as the breed champion on this occasion, before also taking the overall reserve champion. View the full results from the show at: http://aberdeen-angus.co.uk/news/show-news/2018-new-forest-show-results/

There was also results from two key shows across the water in Ireland over the last couple of weeks, the first of which saw the Birches herd reign supreme at 73rd Saintfield Show in Northern Ireland, with the Matchett family’s senior cow Cheeklaw Black Beauty N458 taking the Aberdeen-Angus supreme championship. In the Republic of Ireland, the Parke family’s 7-cow Coolermoney Herd made a clean sweep in the Aberdeen-Angus section at the Randox Antrim Show, where judge Michael Lagan awarded the supreme overall championship to the home-bred heifer Coolermoney Frances T703. You can read more about these two shows at the following two links respectively: http://aberdeen-angus.co.uk/news/show-news/clean-sweep-for-coolermoney-herd-at-randox-antrim-show/ and http://aberdeen-angus.co.uk/news/show-news/clean-sweep-for-coolermoney-herd-at-randox-antrim-show/

Castle of Mey visit

 Castle Of Mey pic1

The president and the CEO were in attendance at the annual Castle of Mey visit, to tour the farm and have a look at the herd of Aberdeen Angus established by the late Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother. The farm, Castle and gardens are administered by the Castle of Mey Trust, whose President is HRH Prince Charles, who is also Patron of the Aberdeen Angus Cattle society.

At Longhoe Farm we met Sandy and Danny McCarthy, the two long standing stockmen, and Sandys son Alistair, who hosted us at the farm. They showed us around the AI stud and explained the selection process for the project running with a major retailer,  followed by a look at some of the prize winning flocks of Hill and Park North Country Cheviots also held and farmed at Longhoe.

Onto the castle to meet Prince Charles followed by a tour of the herd in the land adjoining the castle, lunch followed and then onto the Mey Games held now in the Village of John O Groats. We witnessed the games where this year and we would hope next year there were teams of assembled “Invictus” athletes, where international teams of disabled ex service people contested the usual events at the games. This was a very moving and fitting example of brave people when faced with adversity have the tenacity and resolve to get around the cards that life and career path has dealt.

Back to the castle for the evening reception and a chance to meet further interesting people from the castle staff, trustees and other dignitaries at the reception. Many thanks must go to Sir Ian Grant and his wife Eileen for their guidance and time to make sure that the visit went smoothly. Also really good to meet Malcom Macrae and his partner Sarah from Orkney, who is taking over from the retiring Sir Ian as trustee, and who we will be working with going forward on the ongoing programme at the Castle of Mey

Interview with the German Angus Group and the owner of the Donaumoos herd Bernhard Delle

After recent success at the World Steak Challenge, we got the opportunity to speak with Bernhard Delle of Donaumoos Angus in Germany and the German Angus Group. If you haven’t already done so, make sure to read the brilliantly interesting piece from Bernhard about all things Aberdeen-Angus in Germany and the operation he is involved in on the continent. You can access the article at: http://aberdeen-angus.co.uk/news/we-speak-exclusively-to-the-german-angus-group-and-the-owner-of-the-donaumoos-herd-bernhard-delle/

Sire Verification lists      

The initial deadline for the first phase of the sire verification list processing has passed and work is underway, so we would like to thank all members who were so cooperative to help us with this first phase. Please bear in mind that this was only the first phase, and we would encourage all members to complete their lists and send them to the Society as requested.

Please remember that the biggest part of this initiative is to support our customers and so long as the retailers can trace a product, cooked raw or however, back to a registered Aberdeen-Angus bull, that is all we want to know. The extra benefits available through the pedigree SNP test is an add-on for the added security of our breeding programme and helping the breed improve going forward. For those of you who have not managed to get to your list and return it to us yet, we will be embarking on a telephone campaign at some point next week. So to save us having to call you, please send your list back as promptly as possible. Thank you in advance for your help.

It is all for the good of our breed and will go a long way to safeguarding the premium that Aberdeen-Angus demands in the market. You can find out more about the full sire verification programme on the Society website at: http://aberdeen-angus.co.uk/sire-verified-aberdeen-angus/

Youth Development Programme

We were delighted to hear from two sisters who are young and passionate about the industry in which we all work, as Molly and Ruby Astley gave us a great report of events at the Penistone YDP workshop which took place last month. Molly and Ruby are aged 14 and 10, and it fills us with so much optimism about the future of the breed and industry to see them and so many other youngsters taking part so passionately, looking to learn as much as they possibly can. You can hear from the girls about the workshop they attended and the YDP in general at: http://aberdeen-angus.co.uk/news/we-hear-from-sisters-molly-and-ruby-from-the-penistone-ydp-workshop/

The CEO has been out and about!

A whistle stop fortnight saw a number of visits to various parts for the CEO up and down the full length and breadth of the country. With herd visits to Idvies, Isauld, Inkstack and Skitten to attendance at the Border Union, Turriff and Black Isle Shows, it’s been a very enjoyable but busy couple of weeks for Barrie, speaking to a vast number of members and taking on ideas about how we can continue to drive the breed and the brand in the correct direction. There was also a visit to Castle of Mey in the last couple of weeks, and you can read all about the CEO’s activity out and about at: http://aberdeen-angus.co.uk/news/the-ceo-has-been-out-and-about/

An opportunity from Romania

We have received an enquiry from Romania for large quantities of in calf heifers, an opportunity that we think might be of great interest to you. With the forage situation on farms looking the way it does going into winter, this is an opportunity that may be useful for some members looking to reduce numbers going into winter and beyond. If you think you can help or are interested, please get in touch with the Society directly and we can liaise with you to put you in touch with our contacts in Romania.

Internship request

Last week we shared a request we received from a driven and enthusiastic young Honduran by the name of Eduardo Amador, an Agronomic Engineering student with a passion for animals and farming who is looking for a 4 month internship running across September – January as part of his final year of studies. We love Eduardo’s drive to learn and positive attitude to the industry, so it’d be great for any members to help him out if they have the opportunity. You can read more about Eduardo and view his CV by heading over to the website at: http://aberdeen-angus.co.uk/news/4-month-internship-request/

SBA farm walk and BBQ

The Scottish Beef Association will be holding a farm walk and BBQ at Scott Henderson's farm at Lochenhead, Dumfries on Tuesday 14th August 2018. The farm walk will focus on collaboration within beef supply chains, following through calves seen at the January farm walk in Sanquhar through to finish. Beef specialist Gavin Hill of SAC consulting will present alongside the Henderson's and Michael Walker, and a representative from sponsor AB Vista will discuss how feed efficiencies can be maximised in finished systems. The event is open to all and is set to be very interesting and valuable – to find out more about attending, go to: http://aberdeen-angus.co.uk/news/sba-farm-walk-and-bbq/

Stock for sale

We continue to share some great opportunities for stock for sale on the website. Please feel free to browse this section of the site regularly as it is being updated throughout the week, and be sure to get in touch with any stock you might have for sale that you’d like promoted through this platform. Get in touch by phoning the office or emailing Laura in the office at laura@aberdeen-angus.co.uk. The stock for sale section on the website is available at: http://aberdeen-angus.co.uk/news/stock-for-sale/

Events

Some key upcoming events in the calendar are as follows:

-        Tullamore Show, Tullamore Showground, 12th August The CEO will be there so if you have any burning issues to discuss or just want to meet the face for a chat please make sure you do so on the society stand at the show.

-        Mid Somerset Agricultural Show, The Show Fields, Cannards Grave Road, Somerset, 19th August

-        The 'Spectacular' Show and Sale of Calves and Store Cattle, Thainstone Centre, Inverurie, 24th August

-        YDP Workshops

Merchandise

We might be in the height of summer, but we know a lot of you like to be as organised as possible, and winter and Christmas will be on our doorsteps before we know it! With that in mind, why not grab one of our lovely wool scarves while stock lasts – don’t wait until later on in the year when they’ll all be gone! Available for purchase for £25 by phoning the office directly where you can pay over the phone or simply add it to your next invoice. Full range of merchandise available to view online at: http://www.aberdeen-angus.co.uk/assets/2018/Merchandise-poster-2018-web.pdf

From all at he Society, have a great weekend.