Friday update: 23rd March 2018

23 March 2018

As many of you will be aware, this week has involved a couple of days of Council meetings where we’ve had the chance to discuss an array of topics for our breed moving forward, which we’re excited to begin putting into practice and informing the membership about.

One of the things that came up for discussion was the possibility of changing from a Friday Update to a bi-weekly Friday update, enabling us to build up some news and features and for it to become a better read.

Please don’t forget to get in touch with us if you have any news from the regions that will help us keep everyone informed of what’s happening in the beef industry if you feel it’s relevant to the breed or the brand.  

Council meetings

The Council has gathered together over the course of a couple of days this week, giving members the chance to work on forward planning, key initiatives and for the Society to hear suggestions and input from membership all over the country. The two days are split with the first being taken up by individual committee meetings, which include members of council appointed to each of the committees for their areas, based both on their interest in the topic and their expertise in the field. The committees are formed into the following topics, Youth Development Programme, Breed Promotion, Finance, Health, Technical. This was followed by the chair of each committee getting together with the executive committee to discuss the outcome of the agenda and any salient points to go forward for presentation to Council.

As part of the day, the Council were treated to a presentation by Neil McGowan who completed a Nuffield Scholarship where he had travelled to many countries in a quest to find out more about the ways that feed and production efficiency are measured and managed. This subject is of great interest at the moment with the commercial beef industry facing a number of challenges in terms of cost of production and the need to only use the most efficient animals and breeds for onward improvement of physical and therefore financial performance.

This was also the first Council meeting since Barrie Turner was appointed as Chief Executive, this provided a great opportunity to meet all the council members and have discussions about a number of topics as well as the chance to be available for informal discussions.

Barrie commented the following:

“It is of great benefit to have everyone in place and all areas represented, to have input on behalf of their members and represent their views. The diversity of the enterprises of each and every council member as well as what they need in terms of support from the Society led to a really thought provoking and varied view on agenda items, with everyone having a voice, in some very interesting debates.

‘’As a reminder to all members of the Society, if you have a view, concern, or an idea however big or small, please don’t hesitate to contact your area council representative to ensure that you get the voice, help and advice you need as part of the society.”

Regional Club AGMs

The past week saw a couple of Aberdeen-Angus Club AGMs taking place, some of which Barrie got to attend. Speaking about the AGMs, he said:

South East Scotland Aberdeen-Angus AGM

“The South East AGM took place in the beautiful countryside surrounding Godalming where a very warm welcome was extended by the members numbering around 40, which was a stark contrast to the weather outside where the “beast from the east” had returned for the weekend! Taking the opportunity of being in the area, I was treated to a tour of the farm and the stock at the Rosemead herd. Many thanks to Angus Stovold and his Stockman Tom for giving up their morning to take me to witness another herd of excellent cattle, with a fantastic demonstration on how and why their type of Angus fits their enterprise. A tour of the office revealed a whole host of history of the Aberdeen-Angus breed and the Rosemead herd in particular. I was made to feel especially at home as there was also some pig memorabilia on display!

‘’The AGM was convened, and the business completed and the opportunity given to me to explain a little about where I came from, my experience and a little of the vision that we have to promote the breed and the brand.

‘’This was followed by the most wonderful roast Aberdeen-Angus Beef lunch in good company with experiences and stories about the club, breeders and the fun that has been had over the 40 years in existence. A special thanks go to Mike Spooner and his wife Jenny, with Mike having been secretary for 25 years ably assisted by Jenny for ensuring I had all the information that I needed to attend.”

North East Scotland Aberdeen-Angus AGM

“The North East Scotland AGM was held in Alford in Aberdeenshire at the motor museum on the Wednesday following the council meetings, so a bit of a dash from Perth to Aberdeenshire was required! Being not too familiar with the area, I was a bit reliant on my Satellite Navigation system which took me on a wonderful tour of the Cairngorms which was breath taking in parts, on single track roads with snowdrifts still higher than the car at both sides. This was certainly about the last route that was needed when running a little behind. On arrival in Aberdeenshire a further difficulty was faced when the voice on the sat nav turned into “Doric”!’’

There was a good attendance at the meeting which was only slightly affected by a few members calving. The Chair, Angela McGregor gave a report on last year’s activities which was a pretty busy calendar in the area with shows, Youth Development days and the Black Beauty Bonanza, plus the wonderful day at Tillyfour as part of the Forum. This was followed up by a really full calendar of events for the forthcoming year with the comment that there was not a spare weekend to fit anything else in! The business of the club being completed, the CEO was given the floor to introduce himself to some more of the membership and explain some of the initiatives that were running at the society to further promote the Breed and the Brand.    

This was followed by the opportunity to meet and again discuss in an informal environment the club’s events and the fun that was had over the year.

Stock for Sale

We’ve continued to receive some great opportunities for the membership with regard to stock for sale, notably an interesting opportunity for a variety of bulls for purchase in Portugal. Make sure to head to the stock for sale section on our homepage for all opportunities, and don’t forget to get in touch with us if you’re looking to sell so we can help out with promoting the stock available. We also informed you of how Sheila Eggleston at Eggsport is looking for a selection of stock for export, so if you want to find out more and think you could help, head over to: http://aberdeen-angus.co.uk/news/stock-wanted-for-export/.

Industry news: DNA

We’re looking to keep an eye on all interesting industry news to help inform our membership of all news that is relevant to them and their operations, in line with our objective to continue to develop and improve the service we offer members. With that in mind, the Grocer published an interesting piece this week about DNA traceability in beef, with particular reference to work being undertaken by QMS. You can access the new piece via the below link on the Grocer’s website. It’d be great to hear the membership’s thoughts on DNA traceability in beef to ensure the authenticity of the products, something relevant to us all here at Aberdeen-Angus.

Click the link below to find out more:

https://www.thegrocer.co.uk/buying-and-supplying/sourcing/qms-explores-dna-tracebility-system-for-pgi-scotch-beef/564633.article?utm_source=Daily%20News%20(The%20Grocer)&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=2018-03-19&c=ClJcz29UPvkZMMnSkc1Kbg%3D%3D

Have a great weekend!