CEO BI Weekly update 11/6/2021
- Scotland has moved to Covid Tier level one in the main but certainly Perth and Kinross which covers the office. This still defaults to working from home if it is at all possible.
- We have however stepped up a bit the attendance in the office of the staff and I think we had all forgotten what it was like to speak to each other about matters face to face rather than on zoom or phone.
- It does make communications a lot simpler and as we are training up two new members of the team it is essential that we do this currently.
- Covid measures are in place in the office Screens and work areas separate where all cleansing and sanitising equipment available masks worn when walking round the public areas and so on.
- We are still doing all we can to protect the staff and their families from the effects of the pandemic and as I am sure you will agree this is far from over. But I would personally like to thank the team at P House for there willingness to step up manning levels again.
- We are far from back to normal and we still appeal to you to have a look at seeing if you can resolve any issues by using the resources available to you on the web rather than picking up the phone as a first call.
- The registrations department as has been reported has been under the cosh a bit for various reasons and we are taking some actions through the registrations Committee to ease the burden.
- This will not be helped as we go through summer by the need for the staff to take some holiday entitlement, managing that will undoubtedly affect member services and our ability to deal with enquiries so again I ask you for some patience and understanding through this period.
- As passed by council on Tuesday evening this week you now have 60 days to register or intimate your cattle from birth. NB this has changed from 27 days This will increase the batch size and contribute substantially to easing the workload and we hope for all of you too.
- We also decided that some communication to you outlining the hold ups and log jams that we have within the registration process and what you can do to help us out of some of them.
- We addressed the failure rates that we are experiencing which is causing a considerable delay on some of the registrations and the need for resampling by members is becoming onerous and frustrating for all concerned.
- We also discussed the continuation of first calved females and our DNA testing protocols which has been referred to Committee for further discussion on the best way forward.
- This was our first Council meeting of the “new Parliament” and was held via Zoom so many thanks to all council members who could attend and make the passing of these items possible outside the normal meeting timetable.
- We have had a busy couple of weeks with meetings Registrations Committee met for the second time to formulate the proposals and take further steps forward in our quest to ease the administrative burden on the Registration department.
- The Marketing Committee had their inaugural meeting under the Chair Chris Wilkinson which we discussed ways forward on our four-pillar strategy and planned out the next 6 months activity, priorities set and some exciting thoughts on some new social media channels taking us in a slightly different but very positive direction.
- DNA continues to offer us challenges in the administration of the testing through to the delivery of the results. Our specialist consultant is due to report her findings to us towards the end of the month and I am sure that will trigger a meeting of the DNA Committee.
- Our Breed development Committee has also been just hanging fire until Robert Gilchrist started and has been inducted into the Society which is underway, and a date will be set for their first meeting of the new term.
- Very interesting second enquiry from China looking for Genetic material to improve the Chinese herd letters written to the Government to as a priority negotiate a health agreement with the Chinese authorities.
- We continue to challenge the protocols that are affecting our members in Northern Ireland who are being affected by the transition agreement protocols imposed by the EU, three meetings this week with three of the devolved ministers and respective CVO’s in support of our challenge.
- Some work to deliver the Council communications of managing our debtor list which Angela Cumming and Helena Stewart do a fantastic job of managing, terms of trade are clear and I would ask you all to observe the 30 days payment of invoices please.
- Communicating with AGI in the USA to see if a proposal to work with their DNA profiles to parent verify Embryos will be possible, I had forgotten what a difference the time difference makes!
- The Angus Ambitions sale is being publicised online and the catalogue for the 11 lots available through this one is available through stock for sale on the web site and our news page.
- Someone said to me that there was a situation arising where technology that should work for us but now it’s becoming that we have to work hard for technology! The phone system has now been updated and the digital greeting amended, simple task takes some sorting!
- We welcomed our incoming Breed Development Manager to the Society, Robert Gilchrist joined us on 7th June and was pressed straight into action and has had a busy week with induction and working through our ways of working in his first week. Despite everything we have thrown at him He has come back every morning so that’s something at least!
- Despite everything and sometimes thinking all is not well with things the breed continues to be highly successful with Aberdeen Angus in Ireland being the top choice by some margin.
- Numbers in the other four nations are not as strong as this but we are the number one on a rolling 12-month basis will work on a graphic to include in the next report.
- The show season is starting to come in which is very limited this year still with The Highland being a closed doors showcase starting next week, the online event will see the Aberdeen Angus classes judged on Monday at the showground and that will be it for this year.
- The Great Yorkshire in July is the next Society supported show and we will be there for the Pedigree Beef Classes on the Thursday and Friday the four-day event this year has limited numbers on all four days.
- The Southwest Aberdeen Angus Club will be attending the Devon County Show and the support of the members of the classes this year, which is the first opportunity to hit the show ring I am sure will be good.
- We have sorted the Summer national show classes out with Westmoreland show and the schedule will be published shortly and hope we can have good numbers of the breed represented. This is a two-day event this year and hopefully it central country location will encourage as many entries as possible.
- Agri Expo at Carlisle is also in preparation, and we will as always be staging our Winter national at the event so get those calves fluffed and puffed and show ready for our big national event.
- Caroline and Fiona have closed the herd book for 2020 and the checking process begins, and this will be the last time we include our EU members which of course includes our members since 1894 in the Republic of Ireland.
- The process of opening the herd book in the ROI is almost complete and we wish them well in the new venture under the presidential team and council, general manager Felicity McGrath and Kathryn Bradshaw who have worked extremely hard on this vital project to bring it all to fruition.
- Another matter which has been the cause of a huge outcry from the industry which we are leading the charge on is the changes in Protocols on the CHeCs monitored Johne’s Health scheme.
- I have had meetings at all levels with both sides of the divide to seek some revision of the new protocols which may parts of the industry and veterinary profession which many believe may lead to many leaving the scheme.
- Owen Tunney has put some work in on this on behalf of the industry and has a proposal that will be going in front of the parties concerned for consideration and it would seem it may well be a simple solution that will keep everyone on side with driving Johne’s out of the industry. A big thank you to him for taking the time to do that on behalf of us all.
- The next period will see a great deal of further activity with Committees and Council with the Breed Development Committee getting a start, DNA Committee getting a start towards the end of June and further marketing Show and Sale, Health and Breed Character Committee getting their processes underway.
- The HR Committee had their meetings on a one-to-one basis with all the staff with one or two action points coming from that but in the main a very positive outcome all things pandemics considered.
- The process of aligning more with the AI companies continues with more initiatives and ways of working being developed to satisfy all parties hopefully being the outcome.
- The Pandemic has brought us a great deal of hardship but on a positive note we are communicating a great deal more and it has become commonplace to use the technology in that way.
- Council meetings were traditionally one day of Committee meetings with 45 mins per committee on the day before the meeting. Total annual committee meeting time 1 hour and 30 mins.
- That has now been superseded very much to the benefit of Society with much more time dedicated to taking projects forward and keeping momentum which previously was difficult to do.
- The extra meetings do create extra tasks however and it does keep us in the office particularly busy following these with the list of action points to follow up on but its rewarding to see some delivery on these when it happens.
- The Countdown begins to the start of my slimming Challenge, thank you to all who have taken the time to support me already on this in aid of the Air Ambulance I will keep you all updated on progress when I start on July 1st
- This is the latest addition to the cause just need the Lycra and a crash helmet now and I am away! Road users in Perthshire beware of the mobile roundabout on a bike!
This as always is just a flavour on some of the happenings of the Society in the last two weeks, and in a bid to make this a bit less of a chore we will be moving this to a Monthly update after this addition using the time to better effect while keeping you posted.
In the meantime keep safe and well and be safe in the knowledge that we at the office are doing everything we can to improve our member services to you which at this moment is a cause for concern but we will get there!
Barrie L Turner
Laura Stewart, Office Manager
Induction and IT provision organised for new staff member Robert Gilchrist (firstname.lastname@example.org ) who joined us on 7th June as breed development manager. A Council meeting was held via Zoom on 8th June to discuss proposed changes to the registration process put forward by the registrations committee to make the process simpler. There continues to be a large volume of emails received and responded to, so it is important that you try to direct your email to the correct member of staff so that you receive a reply quicker – please remember that the email@example.com email address is being phased out and should not be used for remittance advices, registration or DNA queries, general advice etc as it is not regularly monitored. The phone greetings have been re-recorded for the main Society (01738 622477) and Pedigree Cattle Services (01738 622477) phone numbers which should make it easier for you to identify the right person to speak to, to deal with your enquiry. If you know which staff member you want to contact, the quickest way is to dial their direct dial number which can be found on email communication from them or on the contact us page on the website, which is currently being updated to include details of the new staff members Emily and Robert.
- Started to find my feet!
- Getting up to speed with ILR2
- Getting familiarised with Breedplan and its workings
- Getting round the office and understanding what everyone does, who everyone is and how I can help them!
- Picking Barbara’s brain every 2 minutes
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In the Registrations department we are busy trying to catch up with the backlog in Registrations. Just a quick reminder to our members now we are getting through spring calving please DO NOT put your DNA samples in normal envelopes as they can get damaged in transit, please use a padded envelope for extra security. please also remember to insure the correct postage stamp as this will save time.
We might be in touch to ask you for a new hair sample from your stock bull – we are in the process of upgrading a lot of the stock bulls who have only had the 200 ISAG SNPS test to the 50K SNPS test which is mandatory for stock bulls. Please check with us if you are in any doubt.
Please also check that any ET donor dams have been DNA tested – we won’t be able to register ET calves if the dam has not been DNA tested. We would also be keen to upgrade some of these older dams who have only been tested on Microsatellite to the 50K SNPS – again please check before you flush them.