Bi-Weekly Update – Friday 30th April 2021

Bi-Weekly Update – Friday 30th April 2021


CEO Bi Weekly Update,


I hope that everyone is keeping well. Challenges of the dry spring are being reported with a lack of grass at this time of year. Combined with the unseasonable frosts and cold winds is presenting difficulties for many this spring.

  • I am not going to bother starting this week’s update with the Covid 19 updates to the office as nothing has changed in the position of remote working for the staff at Pedigree House. 

    Challenging as this may be, and has become, it is now really digging in and is affecting our abilities in so many ways. I had a meeting with Caroline and Fiona for 35 mins this week in person where Caroline’s phone rang 7 times during that period and Fiona’s phone rang 9 time during that period.Many of these calls are due to the e-mails that have been sent out regarding re sampling of bulls for DNA, there has been a glitch in the system revolving around low density and high-density SNP profiles that have been collected. Basically, if you have received an E mail your stock bull has the wrong test, and we need another sample or the sample has failed and given a “No Result”, these results had been piling up in our system hidden from view. Two people handling registrations now is unsustainable with sales administration and all that goes with it detracting both from doing registrations.

  • The last fortnight has been dominated by rectifying the staffing situation with two days taken up with interviewing and then the correspondence surrounding that. However, we are looking forward to welcoming a new member to the team next week. Emily Simpson will be joining us and after induction and training, will become a very valued member of the Aberdeen Angus Staff. It’s quite an onerous task to start a new employee with the Society and so many things need to be in place for the start date it has taken some time to set up, but I think we are there!
  • We have also had a meeting of the newly formed Registrations Committee under the Chairmanship of council member Ian Watson where we are reviewing how we do everything identifying the “Blockers” and seeing if we can improve our performance.
  • We also held our first mini-Council meeting of the new team on Zoom where it was an opportunity for everyone who could attend to see everyone else and reviewed our next steps on our journey as a society. The ten-year plan was discussed at length and rather than have a long Zoom debate it was suggested that any observations were submitted to the Presidential team in writing to keep some record of them. 
  • We have also a new appointment in the pipeline for the recently advertised Breed Development Managers position which all things being equal we will hopefully have in place at the start of June 2021.
  • The DNA Chair Colin Davidson is also working hard with our specialist consultant Lucy Andrews – Noden who is giving us regular updates of her progress in looking with her specialist eye at the way forwards with DNA and Genomics.
  • Committees have all been announced and confirmed in the last fortnight and we of course have been delayed in the process this year by restrictions and Covid which has been regularly reported. Hopefully, we will be updating you all with the new people in place and the structure of Council along with a summary of the objectives that have been set out in the ten-year plan in our delayed Spring Newsletter.
  • Pinstone have been busy over the last period with the arrival of the NBA magazine and a podcast with our Chair of Marketing Chris Wilkinson, maximising exposure for Great British Beef Week for the breed and brand. We responded to the Framers Guardian article involving Satchi and Satchi about brand creation and creating brands in a letter to the editor, which actually achieved a standalone article. We are hopefully heading for exposure in a high-profile publication that is outside the farming pillars, aimed at retailers and wholesalers promoting the breed and the brand majoring on eating quality and its importance to the consumer.
  • Working away still on the final separation of our membership in the Republic of Ireland the new General Manager Felicity McGrath is doing a fantastic job in getting things in order and the CEO is being slowly weaned out of activities.
  • We continue to try and reach some common ground with the AI companies on the various situations which we are finding are causing some discomfort from both sides but hope to reach a conclusion with these within the next reporting period.
  • Accessories and clothing have always been a bit of a problem area and I am hoping to launch a new online shop where you can pick your garments and size to order and pay online avoiding the need to hold stock.
  • We finally said cheerio to Amy last Friday she came down dropped off her stuff and picked up her possessions with her Mum. We do wish her well on her new adventure into nutrition.
  • Congratulations to all at the Dungannon sale for a good outcome with full clearance and a great average price full report is on the web site. 
  • Stirling May sale is coming up this weekend with Bulls arriving on Sunday inspection on Monday and sale on Monday afternoon not a huge entry so good luck to all our vendors. Thanks to Caroline and Barbara for all their hard work in pulling out all the stops to get as many I’s dotted and T’s crossed as possible.
  • Hope that we can return to some semblance of normality by the time we get to October sale and we can have a show and a good get together.
  • Preparation for the Carlisle sale continues catalogue online and there is a glimmer of hope that there may be further steps back to normality -to be confirmed!
  • We have for some time been looking to investigate some development opportunities at Pedigree House. It’s been stifled by Covid but thanks to John James for passing on the details to new pedigree house development committee chair Henk Rennie to progress.
  • Over the next two weeks we are hoping that all the Committees can have at least convened and met to establish ways of working and be in a position to convene a Council meeting.
  • A work list of contacts and projects with the CAAB Scheme that has been agreed with Identigen can be progressed with some meaty projects, pardon the pun to progress with them.
  • We can communicate some changes to the ways that we do things in registrations to move towards a better service with the registrations committee. 
  • Constant effort going in with our marketing team at Pinstone to maximise all opportunities for editorial and comment, which is now gathering momentum with publications coming to us for comment.
  • I have returned to the office base in Perth following the working from home while convalescing from the hip replacement, so all my information is at the tip of my fingers again!
  • As always this is just some of the tasks that come across my desk on a weekly basis with exciting and interesting times ahead under the new council and the mapped road to deliver the 10-year plan taking shape.



  •  Statements are going out in the post today.  If you do have any outstanding invoices, prompt payment would be very much appreciated.  




  • A kindly reminder that membership for 2021 is due to be paid, if not already done so.  
  • You can pay by either cheque, internet banking or credit card.  Please don’t forget to quote your membership number when making payments.



  •   In order to try and save on postage costs we would like to send our invoices by email.  If you have not already done so, can you please provide us with your details?

Barrie L Turner


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