Bi- Weekly Update – Friday 25th June 2021

Bi- Weekly Update – Friday 25th June 2021


CEO Biweekly Report


We are moving the Biweekly update from a fortnightly publication to a monthly one so the next update will be on the last Friday of the month from now on. But here is a round up of the happenings from the CEOs perspective over the last couple of weeks.

A sad job to have to do this week was to report the passing away of Alasdair Houston Gretna House farm, he was a great man and breeder of Cattle as well as an entrepreneur developing Gretna Green into a really go to place, a short obituary can be found here. Our condolences go to the family for their sad loss.

  • We are continuing to step up the presence in the office with the help and Cooperation from the staff and the correct protocols in place.
  • We have our two new members through their inductions and no embarking very quickly on establishing their roles within the Society and PCS.
  • We have appointed two very good candidates that have fitted in around the rest of the team here at Pedigree House and are keen to make a difference.
  • As with all new commers into a workplace they have to find their feet so the rest of the team and myself, are investing heavily in their training now so that we can reap the rewards of their expertise sooner
  • To be clear to everyone, we are not back yet to normal working or staffing levels but maintaining a maximised opportunity with the guidelines to work in the office again which is clearing the decks a little faster.
  • Just to add to things, much of the workforce has not had much time off since lockdown last year, they do have holidays accrued that spilled over from last year and also no one has been away much this year, so we need to be prepared to have a skeleton staff again during summer holiday season and as travel restrictions lift.
  • I have looked at the situation and made a submission to the HR Committee with some suggestions on this issue and await a response.
  • More Staff news is that Barbra Websters deferred retirement is upon us, but we can’t let her off the leash completely. Barbara has agreed to stay on a couple of days per week as a Consultant to Breedplan and PCS to complete the handover and wean herself off work and keep the grey matter active as she puts it all change on Wednesday 30th June!
  • We were made aware of a change in Myostatin Status of a bull where the initial result on a low-density test returned the bull as a single version carrier, and a subsequent high-density test returned a non-carrier result. We have investigated this situation and taken specialist advice that confirms the high-density profile result is more reliable and carries sway, confirming that the correct decision was taken by Council to increase the density of the test panel.
  • We can therefore confirm with complete confidence that Rawburn Trigger U659, UK ident number UK562106 202659 current owner Mr R and Miss G Barraclough, is a non-carrier of Myostatin variant gene and the database has been upgraded accordingly.
  • Still lobbying alongside other industry bodies on behalf of the Breed Societies and the Membership, on the CheCs Johne’s Scheme adjustments and also the Northern Ireland EU protocols, life is interesting, but progress is very steady.
  • The Embryo frenzy continues with exports and sales seemingly going well, just to remind everyone, a Zootech Certificate required to export Embryos to the EU is £25.00 plus VAT per mating, not consignment.
  • Following a meeting of the Registration Committee we are still working our way through a mailing that will be with you soon containing some really valuable information on Registrations hopefully be with you soon and reduce the need to call the office..
  • We had a return to the Showring, The Highland Showcase took place on the 14th June and what a different event that was. Andrew Adam (Newhouse) judged, and his male and female Champions took the interbreed pairs.
  • Without a swift intervention by our member Heather Currie the outcome of a medical emergency on the day may have had a very different outcome but the casualty came through and is recovering well we understand
  • This has prompted me to invest in First aid training for all the staff myself included to gain the Emergency First Aid Certificate which will put everyone in a good place no matter where they are to assist in an emergency at work or at play.
  • Brexit has brought us many challenges but another one cropped up out of the Blue, we have some EU Domain names we can no longer use these as the registered address has to be within an EU member state IAAA can use them so transferred ownership to them.
  • Got to the point that I am feeling that the battles with the EU may not be very fruitful, we have had three parties looking for Stock, Genetics, and meat for China and Kazahkstan
  • Perhaps the UK needs to look away from the EU and see what else is out there and what we have to do to trade!
  • Making great progress with DNA profiles from America and Canada which has been a bit of an issue, but we are just about over the line after some great co operation between the Societies fingers crossed will tick a lot of the boxes.
  • Pictured below Sam Matchett from the Birches herd in Northern Ireland who applied and used his Godfrey Neal grant to go towards the cost of his class two License here’s Trucker Sam having passed his test and looking for a shop that sells Yorkie Bars, congratulations to him!

  • We held our second very productive marketing meeting with Chris Wilkinson in the chair and committee in attendance and established the crossover areas marketing and Breed development and agreed to revisit our PR plan with Pinstone and add a bit of Red Bull just to liven it up a bit!
  • Inaugural Breed Development meeting also took place last period with a three hour session thrashing out all the lines of approach that we can take on a blank page now rationalise and prioritise to meet our objectives.
  • Thanks to Laura Stewart and Robert Gilchrist for their outside hours attendance and sticking with it until late, and also the chair and the Committee for their commitment to completing the agenda.
  • Further activity with the Registrations Committee who are already considering the next steps to improve the process flow in Pedigree House thanks to all for their inputs and for listening which is sometimes all it takes!!
  • The AI sub committee continues to work on and some further information compiled by the CEO has been submitted in a lengthy report to the committee for consideration.
  • The interesting thing about this year is, we used to hold two Committee days per year where we had 6 committee meetings at 45 mins each so total committee time of 90 mins or 1/2/ hours per year!
  • With Zoom we are now holding many more meetings but actually seeing the benefit in getting things achieved, the pandemic has changed even us as old as the organisation is for the better!
  • We have also now issued the dates for Council meetings we have our first one by Zoom 28th July, the second in October around the Bull sales which we are hopeful to have as a face to face and then second week of December again on Zoom where we can hopefully catch up on all the business and get it back on to regular timings.
  • I attended a really great event organised by the Perth branch NFU a butcher cut up a lamb and a chef cooked it, simple but very effective! in a synchronised and entertaining display thanks for the welcome and also to Hazel McFadgen (Hazelnuts Catering) and Beaton Lindsay (DG Lindsay & Sons Perth) for a really good evening entertainment.
  • Great also to meet the Sinclair family East Dron Farm, Bridge of Earn, who offered up their shed for the evening and their contribution by the big tidy up as is always the case when expecting visitors!
  • DNA profiles are not easy to retrieve and have caused some problems when requested to get hold of. We now have protocols in place and systems to retrieve these from our DNA module just need to get some time to work it out! Thanks to Bob Allen, Marlon McCantray and Leonie Lane from ABRI for their help.
  • Our Mystery about the silver bull continues, anyone with any information on this guy please let me know,

  • Video of the CEO sent to H&H to help promote the Agri expo event its now up on their Facebook page!!
  • The Great Yorkshire Show is going ahead over the four days and classes for Aberdeen Angus are on the Thursday and Friday of the show as we slowly get nearer to normality
  • A revisit to the extension of the number of accredited scanners has followed some disappointing accreditation scores received back from ABRI, however plan B is kicking int action on this.
  • I have received confirmation that we will receive sponsorship of the Prize money and the rosettes for the summer national at the Westmoreland show from jointly Foyle Foods and Tesco very grateful to them for their support.
  • Don’t forget to shop till you drop at our new on line store more products to be added soon following feedback  you can choose your sizes no and everything we will never not have your item not in stock
  • Onto the last lap with our “Divorce” from our Irish members in the Republic with the last few pieces but important parts being sorted out to enable the input from the CEO to cease.
  • Confirmation that the Nightingale herd dispersal under the Auspices of the Society will be taking place at Worcester Market on the 31st July 2021 more details to follow
  • Looking forward to the Zoom version of the World Angus Secretariat which will be held globally on the 1st and 2nd of July which will be 8.00pm in the UK on the 1st thanks to Finlay Munro for agreeing to attend
  • From a personal perspective I am on holiday from today Friday the 25th June through to returning to the office on the 5th July by which time I will no longer be in my 50’s but into my 60’s!
  • What’s more on the 1st July the Big Barrie – Little Barrie  weight loss challenge starts where the quest to loose 56 lbs in 100 days starts in aid of the Air Ambulance weigh in is July 1st.
  • I would appreciate as much encouragement as you can give me as I do not like letting anyone down by just pledging a few quid to the cause on
  • While on Holiday please don’t hesitate to call any of the team at Pedigree House preferably by E mail and then its logged and I am sure they will do their level best to help you.
  • We will be moving this report to a monthly update from July 2021 just to see how it goes and, in a bid, to make us focus on things that sell extra bulls and heifers, sell an extra pound of Aberdeen Angus beef, bring a copper or two into the Society.
  • We have a very busy schedule in July to meet the Council expectations of our first meeting of the year on the 28th July, all Committees to meet again before then and submit and agree proposals for approval.
  • Many thanks to you all and I hope that you keep safe and well until the next report.

Barrie L. Turner

Pedigree Cattle Services:

Days to Calving:

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 is 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

Robert Gilchrist 

First breed development committee meeting has taken place

A good meeting was had with great debate and input from all.

Settling in nicely

Accounting :


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If you have not yet paid your annual membership can you please do so by return as this was due on the 1st January 2021.  If we do not receive payment by the 31st July 2021, we will presume that you no longer wish to be members.

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