Bi-weekly update 28th May 2021
- A lowering of the tier system in Scotland is allowing us to make a slightly bolder approach to the return to normal working and attending the office, the default is still however work from home if you can.
- We have increased the presence in the office as we progress through the Covid 19 situation. This is with the agreement of the staff who are now willing to step that up in a bid to get through more of the work at hand more efficiently.
- Working from home and the infrastructure to be able to do that needs to remain in place as a fall back as the boffins keep warning us that there may well be a need to backtrack depending on Variants.
- Just to let you all know there will ne no edition of the Spring Newsletter this year owing to the delays in getting Council elected and installed and the business moving again following the AGM.
- The Cud in the Autumn however will be a comprehensive report on all our activities to that point so keep your eyes on the Biweekly update for your up to the minute news.
- In other news, the breed societies have all received a barrage of communications about the changes to the Protocols on Johne’s testing, we have collectively written to the NBA questioning their outright support of the change and to CHeCs also registering our member’s discomfort.
- The challenges continue the EU imposed transition arrangements with NI being the gateway to the EU, we continue to challenge the rules on retagging, quarantine periods and show movement licences that would impinge on the level playing field.
- A Zoom meeting with the NI CVO and the now first Minister was held on Tuesday this week and some progress made although the EU are just repeatedly stating no exceptions. We may have top resort to plan B if the political approach fails to work.
- Angela Cumming and I were very pleased top welcome Matthew Currie to pedigree house for a socially distanced meeting on the Society finances, it was very interesting to have Matthews experience outside the Black Cattle world to give us a view on where we could make some tweaks if we needed to.
- We are constantly having to revisit the way we work and jut to let you know we have welcomed through an adjusted approval method 81 new members to the Society last week.
- A further meeting following some further information supplied to the Registrations committee has resulted in some further proposals that will be put to council in a short virtual meeting in the next period hopefully to ease the burden on registrations and reduce the backlog.
- We have also held a further AI sub committee meeting and progressed some matters to what a solution to some of our wrangles with formats on registrations will hopefully be.
- Chris Wilkinson also convened a meeting of the marketing committee with a new focus and remit covering the four pillars of our strategy in promoting the breed and the brand.
- Two bona fide enquiries from China both qualified as genuine and Bonafede enquiries for UK Aberdeen Angus Genetics thanks to Robert Whitcombe for his support on this with his previous experience and connections.
- Export enquiries in general are coming back to the office again, some countries we can look at, but some others would be excluded as we have no health agreements in place which we would need to lobby Government fro progression to open some potential new doors for us in the UK.
- Exporting livestock to the EU or through the EU is still challenging because of the shortage of Border Control points but ways are being found and routes being planned to resume export as soon as possible.
- More steps forward with the devolution from the Republic of Ireland Membership Felicity McGrath is working tirelessly to keep everything on track at her side of the Irish sea and I am providing all the information and support that I can to complete the transition from Scotland.
- The Show and sale at Carlisle Borderway ,market went ahead thanks and well done to Dallas Allen for judging and his placings following the gavel fairly well gave the buyers approval of his stockman’s eye.
- Many thanks also to the two Council members, Ian Watson and Will Chrystal for attending and panelling the bulls at the crush as they went through the vet
- The sale saw 52 bulls head for new homes and the full show write up is available at this link Carlisle Spring Show & Sale Report
- Females of varying ages and sizes were sold and made an exceptional trade with demand for well-bred maidens reaching a high value.
- Above all it was so good to see so many people in person again and just catch up with them but so strange the answer to the question what have you been up to? Is met unilaterally with nothing being the answer!
- I had just about forgotten what to do to attend a show and sale it’s been that long but made it with the help of Emily Simpson looking after the Social Media side of it all and dealing with the arrangements.
- Everything is that bit delayed this year, and nothing has escaped but the HR committee have met, and we have arranged the one-to-one Staff interviews with them on the 4th June this would normally have been in March!
- Really good connection made with Gordon Newlands at QMS who is providing me with all his butchery insights on a weekly basis useful market intelligence.
- Arrangements being sorted out for the hastily arranged Summer national and virtually sealed the deal with a high-profile sponsor for the event.
- Continue to work on press releases with Pinstone Communications with our publicity campaign following the original four pillar plan and worked through our PR plan for the rest of 2021
- The shop is being patronised and we have received our first few orders for the branded Aberdeen Angus wear we are also following the suggestions on Facebook adding to our range so work in progress but hope it’s a good solution.
- The link to our shop is here so shop till you drop and this is our version of AAAmazon! https://aberdeenangus.reshop.co.uk/shop/
- DNA continues to present us challenges, globally formats of reporting are inconsistent and this is causing us some difficulties in the registrations department. Embryos need to be parent verified so please make sure that you have 50K SNP DNA on any females that you choose to flush and also imported sires if in doubt check with the office.
- We are however working with some other parties to resolve some particular difficulties that we are experiencing at the moment to find a solution and fill some gaps that we have in the Data exchange.
- Stock for sale is really busy at the moment and we have been seeing many new entrants to our breed over the last few months and stock is readily changing hands with new herd starting up as other ones retire or change their policy.
- All things politics north of the border have had a shake up and we have a mew minister for Rural affairs as Fergus Ewing has stepped aside and Mairi Gaugeon takes his place an invite to visit Pedigree House has gone out so the relationship building can start again.
- An important part of what we do is to protect the trade marks that we have registered and this is under review at the moment this is an example of something that never sees the light of day to everyone but is an essential part of what we have do.
- The South west club has been in touch for promotional info as they will be attending the Devon County show, I have a set of three pull ups for each club for them to keep and use, most have received them but if you need anything as the shows recommence, please get in touch if your club has not had the pull ups.
- Thank you again to everyone who has called enquiring about my recovery from the hip replacement the back strain has also got itself righted so nearly back to normal gait again!
- A visit to a Chiropractor in Perth revealed a number of issues that I have with my mobility and on a red, amber green score the best I managed of the 12 things was two ambers! At least that was heart rate and blood pressure!
- I need to do something about it and I have been racking my brains in thinking what can I do that would motivate me to loose wight which is the biggest problem so!
- With your help and encouragement, I would like to do a sponsored slim, oh boy! I hope that the support of the Air Ambulance as it is an essential service to rural emergency situations would be deemed appropriate.
- In the spirit of Captain Sir Tom Moore, I am taking on a 100 day Challenge where given medical advice I would like to loose a four stone bag of feed! In 100 days, any funds raised will be in aid of the Air Ambulance.
- This will be for 100 days from the 1st July when I will be independently weighed and then weighed again on 9th September at Westmoreland Show the Summer National second day!
- You can donate here https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/barrie-turner and thank you in advance for your help, motivation and support!
This is just a summary of what goes on in the Society every week so many more matters come across our desks every week that we just deal with as a staff and as always, your continued support throughout our different working conditions is very much appreciated!
Barrie L. Turner 28/5/2021
News & Notices from the Accounts Department:
Induction training with Emily is going well and is continuing so that she can be trained in our general office procedures along with the specific tasks she will be working on. I have been organising the IT set up that is required for our other new member of staff Robert, so that he will be ready to take up his post on 7th June and also organising his induction programme. Meetings are continuing via Zoom and we have recently had a staff catch-up, committee meetings and an HR committee meeting planned for next week. Large volumes of email queries continue to be 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.
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:
In the Registrations department we are busy trying to catch up with the backlog in Registrations. We have welcomed Emily to help us and we are gradually showing her the ropes. She is happily answering the phone so please bear with her if she doesn’t know the answer immediately.
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.
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