Bi-weekly Update: Friday 4th May

Bi-weekly Update: Friday 4th May


For any Star Wars fans amongst the membership, we’ll start by saying ‘May the 4th be with you!’ (and apologise for the positively terrible joke)

There’s been lots of activity since the last bi-weekly update, with lots of preparation for Stirling Show and Sale starting this weekend amongst much more. Our YDP workshops have been up and running too and we’re delighted to have so many youngsters involved, their enthusiasm and endeavour to get involved is always a pleasure to see! Here we bring you all the latest updates from in and around the society over the last two weeks.


We have had agreement from Longford Farms in the South of England to host an open day which will take place on the 4th July 2018. Angela Mc Gregor, Paul Jeenes and Andrew Shufflebotham and Oliver Edwards went down to pull a framework together along with Robert Huxley who is in charge of the 230 cow herd at Longford.   This will be a really interesting day where Longford Farms based near Salisbury will open up their doors to members and interested parties to attend and learn why another progressive company finds that Aberdeen Angus fits the bill for their beef enterprise. There will be more details to follow.  


Thanks you to the many hundreds that have sent their consent form back to us your co-operation with this project is really appreciated.

As an incentive to members to return their forms, we will be hosting a weekly draw using the returned forms as entries. From these we will be selecting weekly winners who will win a bag of merchandise.

The lucky winners from the past couple of weeks were:

A J Stevens and Son = Membership No 5578

J & AL Mountford = Membership No 6303

Congratulations to both parties and thank you for sending your forms back, the Aberdeen Angus goodie bags will be on their way to you shortly.

If you have not yet got around to sending back the form please give this matter your most urgent attention as failure to send it back will cause you and us a great deal of heartache to make the changes required to your data.

M&S new marketing campaign

Many of you will have seen the press release from M&S this week outlining their plans to bolster their validation on their meet offering.

M&S raises the stakes with unrivalled new British beef traceability campaign

From corned beef to fillet steak, every single piece of beef that M&S sells has two things in common – it can be traced back to the farm and animal it came from AND it is British

As highlighted in the campaign, M&S is the only national retailer in the UK that can trace every piece of beef it sells – whether it’s in a prepared meal, a sandwich or a prime cut – all the way back to every farm and animal from which it is sourced.

Steve McLean, Head of Agriculture at Marks & Spencer, said: “We’re passionate about supporting British farming and working with our suppliers to invest in new technology and the best systems available. That gives us better traceability than anyone else in the market and, when it comes to beef, it means we know where every single animal was reared, how it was reared and how the beef moved through our supply chain.”

You can find the full press release at

Staff Reviews

We are part way through our process of working through the staffing resources that we have here at pedigree house. We have had individual meetings with all the office staff and given them the opportunity to be heard. This has been a really good exercise and a number of great tasks and projects to improve systems have been aired and launched that will make working with the society easier and better for the membership. The really good news is that everyone wants to be a part of the successful future of both the Society and Pedigree Cattle Services.

Watch out for the initiatives which will be the fruits of the collective brains in the society. We may need your help with some of these to make things work better and to save double and triple handling in some cases which can be avoided with “just a little help from our friends”!

The CEO was not exempt from this process and was given a grilling by our HR adviser and the President on all matters Aberdeen Angus Society – just a review of the first three months in post. We discussed the framework of tasks that had been identified and where the priorities lie in being able to take the breed, the society and the brand forward. The outcome was that the CEO is still smiling and in post with much good work to be done along with the team at Pedigree House.

More news to come as we pull it all together.  

Judge interview

As the summer agricultural show season started in Ayr this year, we thought it would be a great opportunity to catch up with judge David Johnstone from Ballindalloch farm ahead of his first show. David was able to give us a great insight in to not only his background, but also his experience as a judge and what he was looking for in the ring.

To find out more about judge David Johnstone’s experience then click the link below:

Gayle Bersey wins the Cornwall Farm Business Awards Best Woman in Farming 2018

Leader and co-ordinator of the highly successful Youth Development Programme Gayle Bersey was announced as the winner of the Best Woman in Farming for 2018 at the Cornwall Farm Business Awards. This is an amazing achievement and from everyone in the Society, we send Gayle a huge congratulations! To find out more about Gayle’s brilliant achievement then click on the link below:

Federal Association of German Angus Keepers (BDAH)

The CEO and council member Ben Marsden will be travelling to the German arm of the Aberdeen Angus society to visit their annual national show on Saturday 5th of May. This will be an interesting event to see what the German breeders are doing with the breed. Ben who hails from Peniston near Barnsley will be the “expert eye” and we will post further news on the visit in the next update along with the show news and photographs.

YDP Returns – Brymore Workshop

The YDP workshops are back in action this year with youngsters attending workshops up and down the country. It’s always great hearing the keen youngsters thoughts on the workshops and this week we were lucky enough to hear from brothers, Alfie and Charlie Walker, as they give us their personal accounts from attending the first workshop of the year at Brymore Academy in Somerset. Young Charlie, aged 9 tells us about his first ever experience at the workshops and some of the things he learned as well as older brother Alfie, aged 12, telling us about his experience at his second ever workshop. Click the link below to find out more about their experiences in a brilliantly written piece from the young boys.

If you want to get involved or see what it’s all about visit the YDP section on the AA website you will find a full list of events and forthcoming workshops.

Stirling Spring Show and Sale

The Spring Show and Sale at United Auctions in Stirling is now upon us with, with the show of bulls taking place at 2pm on Sunday before the Sale on Monday from 11.45am. As we did at the Autumn event last year, we’ll be bringing you live updates on the Aberdeen-Angus Facebook and website pages with all results as and when they happen. To make sure you can follow along if you aren’t able to make it, be sure to like the Facebook page which can be found at:

We’re looking forward to what will hopefully be another great day for Aberdeen Angus, and to seeing many of you there. We will have a visitor over at the show and sale from representing a consortium of breeders from Latvia.   Having considered all the breeds Aberdeen Angus has been identified as the breed that will fit into their climate and farming methods. The CEO will be taking him round to introduce him to as many breeders as possible with a view to him making contacts for Aberdeen Angus purchases going forward.

Show and sale news

A top price of €4500 was realised at Lisduff Production Sale which was the Lisduff herd’s fifth annual sale at Mid Tipperary Mart. Overall there was 60% of bulls sold and an average price of €3200.

The annual Gigginstown production sale of pedigree Aberdeen-Angus bulls and heifers took place this weekend with there being a near total clearance. The renowned Gigginstown Aberdeen-Angus herd owned by Michael O’Leary of Ryanair fame and managed by Joe O’ Mahoney and Gerry Smyth hosted the event.

To keep up with all the news from Show and Sales and to read full reports, head to the website at:

Herd Book Volume 142

Don’t forget that if you would like to place an order for the Herd Book Volume 142 then please click on the link below, We hope to produce these in one run to keep the cost as low as possible so if you want to keep your collection up to date then please complete the form and send to [email protected] or posted to the office for the attention of Angela no later than 18th May 2018.

Stock for sale

Now that the web site stock for sale is up and running again please don’t forget to use this free advertising service to put any surplus stock that you may have for sale. We are finding that we are having an increased number of visits to this part of the web page which is really good news. The more stock we get for sale the more visits we are receiving making it well worth the money to give it a go.

It doesn’t just mean livestock either there is no reason why you can’t post embryos, semen or equipment if you have it. The more we have on there the more we can build our network of visitors and turn that surplus into cash and its all free! 

Click the link below to have a look at the stock for sale opportunities:


Continuing with last week’s topical theme of recycling, we thought what better way to start your weekly shop than with a bag for life! You can purchase one of these for only £3.00 by getting in touch with the society directly on 01738 622477. Alternatively, we can add merchandise items to your account to save you the hassle of paying on the spot and the cost will simply be added to your next invoice.

Bag for life

Check out our merchandise section on the website to have a look at our full range of items. This can be accessed at:

A reminder that if you have any news, stories, stock for sale or images that you would like to share with us, then feel free to contact us at [email protected].

Upcoming events

Keep an eye out for the latest upcoming events below:

YDP Workshops:

  • 5th May 2018: Hawthorn Farm, High Road, Briston, Norfolk. NR24 2JQ By kind permission of the Jeary Family (Time: 10am)
  • 12th May 2018: Galcantray Farm, Cawdor, Nairn. IV12 5XS By kind permission of David Walker (Time: 10am)

Bull Sales:

  • 6th-7th May 2018: Stirling May Show and Sales at United Auctions, Stirling.  Address: Stirling Agricultural Centre, Stirling, FK9 4RN
  • 16th-19th May 2018: Balmoral Show, Northern Ireland Largest Agricultural event at Balmoral Park, Lisburn, Northern Ireland

European Secretiat

  • 11-15th June 2018: Don’t forget the European Secretariat is coming up soon – a great opportunity to go see and hear of the developments and plans for Aberdeen Angus in Europe. If you would like to find out more then click the link below:

Have a great weekend!