It has come to the time of year where the applicants have submitted their cases to the panel for adjudication to receive a grant from the Godfrey Neal Trust Fund that was left to the Society by a member who wanted to promote education and training to the younger end of the Society membership.
The grant is by way of a cash award to a person who can demonstrate that by having some financial assistance towards some extra training, it will improve their skills and therefore with the extra talents acquired, expand their horizons in their careers. This also applies to gaining skills that will help them at home or in starting up their own enterprises.
We are therefore this year, after the panel have been through the applications, very pleased to announce two beneficiaries of a grant towards vocational training from the fund.
The first recipient who will receive a grant of £300 is Sarah Armstrong, who has taken part in a number of events over the summer including the YDP workshops. Sarah will be looking to put the grant partly towards passing her trailer test. This would help reduce the reliance on her father to take stock to shows and also moving stock around the farm, between home and some outlying land.
The second part of the contribution would be put towards a DIY AI course, where following a visit to Canada, Sarah developed a great desire to expand the genetic base of the herd at home. The Canadian industry puts a lot of emphasis on the breeding of quality females.
Sarah tells us in her application:
“As well as having a stock bull, we carry out a lot of AI. AI helps to improve the genetic merit of the herd, as well as choosing bulls which would be a good cross on our better-quality cows.”
Sarah went on to explain:
“My own pedigree herd is all AI, with my straws being currently held in my technicians’ tank. I have always had a great interest in genetics and have always wanted to carry out AI myself as I believe it would save time waiting on our AI man when he’s busy but would also give me the opportunity to invest in some other straws and buy my own tank in the future.”
We hope that you all agree that this application demonstrates a broad ambition to take her skill base forward and we have great pleasure in awarding £300 (equivalent in Euros!) to Sarah and wish her every success in her enterprise going forward.
The Second recipient of an award this year is Sam Matchett, from Portadown in Northern Ireland. Sam comes from a beef and arable farm and they also run pedigree herds of Aberdeen-Angus and Charolais. (We forgive your second choice on this occasion!) Sam is currently studying for a Level 3 Extended Diploma in Agriculture at Greenmount College and has just finished a year’s work placement at a Beef, Dairy, Sheep and Poultry farm in Newtownstewart, County Tyrone.
Sam’s plan if he receives an award would be to use the funds to undertake his HGV test. He says:
“I would like to gain my HGV license because it would allow me to drive the cattle lorry on our farm that we use to transport cattle between our farms, from livestock markets and to the abattoir. Having my HGV license would also make me more employable because it would allow me to gain off-farm employment which would provide me with some additional income.”
Congratulations to you Sam and we are please to award you the Sum of £200 towards the cost of passing your HGV test.
Congratulations to both our recipients this year, we are satisfied that the principles laid down in the distribution of the fund have been applied in both your cases.
We look forward to hearing of the progress made by both the young people above with their respective training challenges.
Barrie L Turner
CEO Aberdeen-Angus Cattle Society
On behalf of the Godfrey Neale Trust