Bi-Weekly Update – 17th July 2020

Bi-Weekly Update – 17th July 2020


Here is the last Bi-Weekly Update for July, where does the time go?! We should have been at The great Yorkshire Show this week and The Royal Welsh next week but here’s to 2021 show season! As the staff are all still working from home, they continue as a team to deliver to the best of their ability to the membership. We hope that some sort of normality can return to our activities before too long! Here’s a round up of what has been happening in the Society over the last 14 days…

News Roundup:



As you will be aware the society has recently implemented some changes to our DNA testing procedures. As of 1st June 2020, you should forward your samples directly to the society office.

‘Pedigree House’
6 King’s Place

We are in the final stages of switching all our DNA testing regime to one laboratory. Our aim is to streamline and speed up the process and ensure accuracy. We have also updated the programming software that we use to manage the DNA going forward.

The society has invested heavily in DNA testing over the last few years for the benefit of the breeders. The Society currently funds the testing for all male registered calves to be DNA profiled on the new SNPS platform. It has become apparent as we develop our systems and processes that in around 50% of cases, we request a test and we have had no sample submitted to perform that test on.

We need all members to implement the sample sending promptly to enable a sample to be accessed to be processed. To enable us to manage this testing it is vital that you submit your tissue samples to the office within 21 days of birth.

If we process a registration, submit a test request to the lab, and do not have a tissue sample on file we cannot subsequently go back and request a test at a later date. The new automated process relies on the sample being in storage before the registration is completed and the test request is actioned. If we do not have a tissue sample on file the request will not be actioned, therefore we assume you do not wish to take up the society’s offer of free testing of Male Registrations.

We are trying to improve our services and turnaround times to prevent delays in issuing pedigree certificates. There is only so far, we can go with this that is within our control, we need your help in achieving efficiencies.

Could you please ensure that you send your DNA samples to us on a very regular basis and within the 21 days if it’s one, twenty or one hundred samples it makes no difference, please pack them off to Pedigree house within 21 days of sampling and we will deal with them from there.

We appreciate your co-operation with this slight change in submission of samples.

Kind regards
Caroline, Fiona and Yvonne

Days to Calving:

Now that the breeding season is upon us and bulls have recently gone out/going out, to add more accuracy to the days to calving EBVs and include a measure of cow fertility in Breedplan evaluations, The Society would like to encourage breeders to record whole-herd reproductive performance by using the approved ‘Days to Calving’ Excel spreadsheet to submit data to Breedplan.

The ‘Days to Calving’ EBV is also a major component of the new Maternal index under development. Identifying the most fertile bloodlines will help breeders in selecting the most productive and hence most profitable cows.

Please note: Information will be accepted from previous years’ data. Please ensure absolute accuracy in your submissions. Do not ‘guestimate’ information or use incomplete data.

Below are the days to calving template to give you an example on how it works and also your own template for submitting:

A-A Template for Submitting Service Information

Understanding Days to Calving EBVs

Southern Autumn Sale of Pedigree Aberdeen-Angus – Worcester Livestock Market:

  • Saturday 26th September 2020
  • Entries close – FRIDAY 14th AUGUST 2020
  • Due to Covid-19 regulations for this year only there will be NO SHOW.
  • Entry is of course open to:- Cows, In-calf or with calf, Served Heifers, Maiden Heifers & Bulls
  • Worcester advise one vendor per consignment and please respect social distancing requirements in force at time of sale.
  • Contact Worcester Market for entry forms – 01905 769770

United Auctions – Sale of Pedigree Females:

  • United Auctions, Stirling Agriculture Centre, Stirling, FK9 4RN 01786 473055
  • Sale date – 12th September 2020
  • Entries close – 7th August 2020

Godfrey Neal Young Stockman Annual Bursary:

An amazing opportunity if you would like to develop your career as a stockman through the Godfrey Neal Young Stockman Annual Bursary. Please find details of how you can apply below:

Previous intent of award (Godfrey Neal Travel Award)

This award was previously intended to provide a contribution to the travel costs of young stockman who had expressed an interest in travelling abroad to further their knowledge of the Aberdeen-Angus breed. It is now intended to broaden the previous intent of this award to contribute to the costs of training related to a career as a cattle stockman.

Godfrey Neal Young Stockman Annual Bursary

An annual sum in the range £200 – £500 will be made available to a young person who has expressed an interest in training to become a stockman. All suitable and related courses will be considered such as:

• Travel to a country with a background and history of breeding beef cattle.
• AI cattle courses.
• Foot trimming courses.
• Stockman skills.
• Trailer tests.

The above courses are intended to give an indication and are not limited to these.

Candidates should apply by email or writing to: Aberdeen-Angus Cattle Society, Pedigree House, 6 Kings Place, Perth, Scotland PH2 8AD or [email protected] (titled – The Godfrey Neal Young Stockman Award) outlining their proposal and how they would use the funds. The applications should be submitted by Friday 14th August 2020. The sum will be awarded end of August 2020.

Rules to apply:
• Candidates should be in the age range of 16-24 years old.
• The funds must be spent on the furtherance of their career in livestock farming.
• A background in a broad range of beef breeds would be considered.
• The candidate would be expected to provide a report or make a brief presentation on what they gained from the award and whether there were other topics of livestock training that would benefit from being included in the scope of the award.

The Youth of Today Will be The Leaders of Tomorrow – Bryan O’Halloran:

We caught up with 2019 YDP winner Bryan O’Halloran to hear about his experiences of being part of the YDP programme, his reaction on winning the final and plans for the future. To read the full interview please click here

FG Summer Shows Competition launches:

With this year’s summer show season cancelled due to Covid-19 the Farmers Guardian have launched a brand-new photographic competition for you to showcase your stock, and also be in with a chance of winning a £100 shopping voucher.

There will undoubtedly be a sense of disappointment about the cancellation of summer shows.
Perhaps you were looking forward to taking a seasoned show winner out onto the showing circuit for another year? You may have earmarked a potential show winner to take to a show this year, or maybe you are a young handler looking forward to showing a new calf? If this is the case, why not enter the FG Summer Shows Competition 2020.

The FG are inviting you to send in your own pictures of the stock you would have been taking to a show, or shows, this summer.

This is your chance to showcase your stock to the readership of FG.

The competition will be split into four categories: dairy cattle; beef cattle; sheep; and pigs.
A panel of judges will pick their favourites in each section, then an overall winner will be chosen.
The category winners and overall winning pictures will be printed in FG and will appear on

All photos received will be uploaded onto a gallery on our Facebook Shows and Sales page, which has more than 15,000 followers.

To find out more and how to enter please click here


If you would like to advertise stock for sale & stock wanted on our website then please send all the relevant information, contact information along with pictures/videos to Amy: [email protected]

Potential buyers can contact members directly.

(Stock for sale is for Aberdeen-Angus members to advertise only. We only publish adverts for pedigree Aberdeen-Angus stock).

The staff are all still working from home and continue as a team to deliver to the best of their ability to the membership. Due to the volume of emails that are being received at present please bear with us and we will reply as soon as we possibly can.

In order to work more efficiently in relation to the large volume of emails that are received, please be aware that the [email protected] email address is being wound down and is no longer monitored regularly. Should you email this address you will receive a standard reply to this effect asking you to email the correct person from the contact us page on the website, so that your enquiry can be dealt with as quickly as possible by the person responsible for the particular task. To make this process more streamlined, we are currently working to update the contact us page with a brief description of the main duties that each member of staff deal with to help you select the most appropriate person to contact.

By contacting the correct person by email in the first instance we hope that you will receive a quicker response to your enquiry and urge you to do this going forward so please embrace this change and let’s make it work and the whole business work smarter going forward.

To be able to contact the staff, please see email addresses below. By emailing us this is our most favoured method of communication:

Barrie Turner, CEO (01738 448345)[email protected]
Laura Stewart, Office Manager (01738 448343)[email protected]
Caroline Ford, Registrations, Sales (01738 448341) – [email protected]
Fiona Flood, Registrations, New member enquiries (01738 448342) – [email protected]
Yvonne Buchanan, Registrations, Merchandise (01738 448340) – [email protected]
Amy Johnstone, Pedigree Cattle Services, Stock For Sale, Stock Wanted, Website & Social Media Updates (01738 448348) – [email protected]
Barbara Webster, Pedigree Cattle Services (01738 448346) – [email protected]
Helena Stewart, Aberdeen-Angus Accounts & Pedigree Cattle Services (01738 448347) – [email protected]

News & Notices from the CEO, Barrie Turner:

• Wednesday this week saw me return to the office as accommodation in Scotland opened again.
• The office is not open again yet and this will be reviewed as the guidelines allow and as yet there will be no fixed date for returning to normal working.
• The COVID-19 picture is forever changing, and we must be compliant with the guidelines for the safety of all the staff and ensure that the office can keep functioning.
• The PPE and sneeze screens should be with us for fitting next week in preparation for the return to the office, big exercise to make that happen.
• We are now in the final stages of a completion of the installation of the DNA module which is an update of the software that we use for registrations. Next steps will be to look at the new platform for members inputs and the possibility of issuing pedigree certificates electronically, so all go on the update front.
• It’s been a long journey with all the little bespoke parts of a standard package being worked on by all to work our way round the individuality of our requirements.
• A tentative return to some sales with Worcester being the first to give us the nod on holding under certain restrictions their Autumn fixture.
• Discussions ongoing with UA and H&H with their autumn plans which should see a return to a live auction situation all being well.
• We have been contacted about potentially being part of a Native Multibreed sale in Lincolnshire which we are evaluating now, more news next week.
• Interesting sets of figures on growing cattle being shared in a virtual meeting with Sainsbury with some valuable insights into what sort of data is available out in the field with the various schemes that are in operation.
• Alan Morrison gave the time to join our Breed promotions meeting on Zoom with Pinstone and we fine-tuned and signed off the strategy for the rest of this year in terms of PR.
• The first sales of sponsored calf sales in Wales got underway with it being received well and a new membership application from Monmouthshire has been received in the office Thanks to John James for his efforts on that.
• There has been a relatively high-profile case that involves trading standards in that semen from a French bred bull had been illegally imported into Ireland that was not export approved. This has sparked an investigation into the practice that we will need to approach and establish what we are going to have to put in place to stop any of this trade, if any, that is going on.
• We were asked by the Highland Cattle society to contribute to their annual Journal, this has been completed this week and is with them as a flag flying advert for Native Breeds.
• We continue to receive many requests for Zootechnical certificates for semen and embryos for export into Europe. We must start to levy a charge for these as they are time consuming things to deal with.
• Notification for our Patron that this year visit to the Castle of May will not be taking place and Covid-19 allowing the President this year will be invited to attend in 2021 as well as the incumbent president.
• Today sees the launch of this year’s Godfrey Neale awards where younger cattle enthusiasts can apply for a grant to further their training so if you would like to receive some cash towards a AI training course trailer test or anything else that you feel would help you on your journey in Agriculture put pen to paper now!
• It has been interesting coming back to the office, opening the post today it contained 6 short paid letter cards which have cost the society £1.50 each to have delivered. Please take care to put the correct postage onto mail sent to the office. It is not just the extra postage cost it is the admin time to deal with these matters that is expensive and avoidable.
• The other thing to remind you of is please do not put anything other than samples in the envelopes for your DNA, there is a risk that paperwork could go missing if you do. This is again causing an extra burden on the admin team that they could really do without.
• I have several appointments in the diary for next week via Zoom which is proving to be a great tool for progressing matters and ensuring that everyone is on board without the travelling usually required to make things happen.
• We are considering, having held several committee and subcommittee meetings via this platform holding the August Council meeting on it which will be an interesting experience for all.
• With the amount of work and projects that we have on at the moment it has been a bit of a godsend that we have not had the shows to attend this year as the time freed up has been put to very good use
• This is a summary of some of the business that has been covered in the last couple of weeks but by no means all. We are functioning well, all things considered with the help of all the staff through this difficult and challenging time for which I am grateful to them for.
• We hope that you all stay safe and well and look forward to when we can all meet again face to face at the normal society fixtures throughout the geographical area that we cover.

News & Notices from the Office Manager, Laura Stewart:
Council meeting agenda planning is underway. As a reminder, the next Council meeting will be held on 13th August and any member wishing to raise any points with Council should do so through their local Council representative in advance of the meeting. Click here to visit our website Council contact page to find your representative’s contact details.

News & Notices from the Registrations Department:

Members should be aware when they are selling or buying bulls that they should check on the sire verification. Not all bulls we have tested on SNPS have been sire verified. These can only be done on animals whose sire also has a SNPS profile. If a sire has a Microsatellite profile, then an additional test will need to be done for sire verification.

To check on an animal’s parentage status, please go to – Animal Enquiry: If an animal is sire verified the status will appear on the website as such:

SV means sire verified; PV means sire & dam verified

If there is nothing against Parentage Verified, then this has not been done – see below an animal that has been profiled but not sire verified

News & Notices from Pedigree Cattle Services:

• We are up to date with weights at the moment but with communications being a bit hampered if you would like your weights to be included in the next ABRI run (7th August) please send them in with plenty of time available pre the close off date.
• Breedplan Scanners: Breedplan Scanners are back on the road now. At the moment they will just be scanning local (within a couple of hour’s drive) as there is no accommodation available. Hopefully, they will catch up with the backlog soon. Please contact them if you need scanning done so they can schedule you in, if you require any up to date weigh sheets please contact either Barbara, Helena or Amy. Email is a must on this so please send to Barbara directly: [email protected]
• If any members have photos of sale animals, and you would like them uploaded onto the website catalogue please send them to either Barbara or Amy.

From us all at the Society have a great weekend and stay safe!

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