Bi-Weekly Update: 24th April 2020

Bi-Weekly Update: 24th April 2020


As lockdown continues the great weather has appeared, meaning spring work on the farms are in full flow with calving, lambing, and arable work. It was good to see this week that our Patron of the Society HRH Prince Charles, Prince of Wales has said the UK owes farmers ‘an enormous debt of gratitude’ for producing food during COVID-19. We hope your all staying safe and well, here is what has been happening over the last 14 days within the Society.

News Roundup

The passing of John Gilmour – Belhaven Aberdeen-Angus No. 5328

It is with great sadness that the Society must report the sad passing of John Gilmour of the Belhaven Herd of Aberdeen Angus No. 5238.

John suddenly passed away recently. John was a well-respected, butcher, breeder, showman and judge.
Johns presence around the show and sale circuit in the North of England and Southern Scotland will be sadly missed.

The Society will issue a fuller obituary to mark John’s contribution to the Society over his many years of membership in due course.

Our thoughts are with the family at this sad time for them.

Farmers Guardians Newest Marketplace FGBuyandSell:

Farmers Guardian’s newest marketplace is the perfect place to advertise stock to a dedicated audience. In these times of uncertainty, we here at Farmers Guardian understand how important it is for trade to continue. You can now list your lots from the society sales through your auctioneer on

Search from over 1500 weekly listings, from breeding cattle, used machinery and property.

Here’s 5 great reasons to use
1. It’s straightforward to post something on FGBuyandSell. With only a few clicks, your items can be online and ready for buyers to find!
2. We’re LAA approved, that means when you buy from an auctioneer through FGBuyandSell you’re protected by the LAA’s conditions of sale.
3. Our packages make it even easier to reach a wide audience. Choose from Online Only, Basic Package and Standard Packages.
• Online Only – Free 30-day online listing with up to 100 words and 2 pictures
• Basic Listing – This package allows you to reach an even wider audience by appearing in a 3×1 box in Farmers Guardian printed magazine for 7 days and 30-days online.
• Standard Listing – Maximise the reach of your advert by appearing in a 3×2 box in Farmers Guardian printed magazine for 7 days and 30-days online.
4. Video Classifieds – Want to show the buyer a more in-depth look at the item you’re selling? Add a YouTube video to your ad.
5. As a member of The Aberdeen-Angus Cattle society, we’re giving you £5 off your next advert on Simply add LAUNCH5 at checkout to claim your discount.

Angus Angels – HELP IS AT HAND – In the light of the recent outbreak of COVID-19 and its anticipated spread we believe the colleges are closed for an elongated break and rather than waste the talent that may well be out there we as a Society are looking to set up a national network of Stock people who could step in to help any farms who find themselves short of labour through self-isolation or family tragedy which it is anticipated there might be some. Click here to find out more and see CV’S/information.

Spring Newsletter – We are pleased to announce that the Aberdeen-Angus Cattle Society Spring Newsletter for 2020 is now available to read online and download. Please click here to see our Spring Newsletter.

Office Closure & Staff Contact Information – The office is now closed till further notice; we will keep all the membership up to date as much as we can with this situation. All members of staff are now set up and working from home.

The staff in Pedigree House are all committed to making this work as well as we can and also committed to thinking about everything that we do to streamline the transfer of information to the membership which we will keep you updated on as it happens.

In the current circumstances E-mail is by far our favoured method of communication and systems of electronic transfer of information to you will also be the most favoured route so please embrace this change and let’s make it work and the whole business work smarter going forward.

We are committed to delivering the best level of service that we can to you given the current circumstances that prevail; there are bound to be occasions where for reasons beyond our control we cannot. Please bear with us in our quest to take very seriously the Government’s instructions to “Stay Home” and we hope that everyone stays as safe and well as possible until we get through these difficult and trying times.

To be able to contact the staff, please see email addresses below. By emailing us this is our most favoured method of communication:

Barrie Turner, CEO[email protected]
Laura Stewart, Office Manager[email protected]
Caroline Ford, Registrations[email protected]
Fiona Flood, Registrations[email protected]
Yvonne Buchanan, Registrations[email protected]
Amy Johnstone, Pedigree Cattle Services, Stock For Sale, Stock Wanted, Website & Social Media Updates[email protected]
Barbara Webster, Pedigree Cattle Services[email protected]
Helena Stewart, Aberdeen-Angus Accounts & Pedigree Cattle Services[email protected]

Society Spring Sales Update:

UA Stirling May Sale – United Auctions May Multibreed Sale will NOT be taking place as a live breeding sale, but United Auctions will help buyers and sellers with direct marketing of bull off-farm.
To purchase a bull or receive more information, please contact Raymond Kennedy – 07545 207927

To view the catalogue please click here 

H&H Carlisle May Sale 9th May– H&H are planning an online timed auction for the forthcoming May Sale and have published a preliminary guide for buyers and sellers as to how this might work. To find out more please click here  For anymore information please contact H&H.

Champions of The Decade – The Scottish Farmer

Last week’s Scottish Farmer brought us their second week of Champions of The Decade featuring our very own the Aberdeen-Angus Champions, the thinking behind Champions of The Decade is there might not be a Royal Highland Show this summer, but we can at least try to make up for the massive loss by having our own Champions of the Decade show.

In the run up to when the Highland would have been taking place, the Scottish Farmer will be showcasing some of the best-known breeds from the catalogue in their on-line poll for a Champion of the Decade. The way it works is, the SF will publish the past 10 champions from a selection of breeds and you, the readers of The SF will get to pick their champion of the decade for each breed. It is a ‘game’ the whole family can play if you each have separate e-mail addresses. All the SF have provided you with is the year the animal won, to keep favouritism down to a minimum – you are picking the beast, remember!

You only vote for one animal each and at the end of it, the SF will tally the votes up to produce a top three after which a specially selected judge will place them 1, 2, and 3. Each breed’s voting page will stay open for two weeks.

After each breed has been judged, they will then move on to the inter-breeds where, again, specially chosen judges will make the difficult choice of picking an overall winner of the beef, dairy, sheep, and heavy horse sections.

It is not the real thing, we know … but it should spark some kitchen table discussions, so get voting! The SF can only accept on-line voting because of the Covid-19 restrictions.
To find out more and place your votes please click here

Cancelled/Postponed Events –

Over the last few weeks, we have seen our summer shows come to an end before they have even started! To view all cancelled and postponed events please click here
If you hear of any events which are cancelled/postponed over the country then please let us know by contacting Amy – [email protected]


With our spring society sales being affected by outbreak of COVID-19, we would like to remind members of our stock for sale & stock wanted sections on our website.

If you would like to advertise stock for sale & stock wanted on our website then please send all the relevant information, contact information along with pictures/videos to Amy: [email protected]
Potential buyers can contact members directly.

(Stock for sale is for Aberdeen-Angus members to advertise only. We only publish adverts for pedigree Aberdeen-Angus stock).

News & Notices from the CEO Barrie Turner

Here we are another fortnight gone and time for the update to keep you all in touch with what is happening…
• With another stint of Lockdown, we continue to work from our home bases and keep things moving along as near to normal as possible.
• I hope that you are all manging to keep virus free as many of you at this time of year will normally practice self-isolation with lambing and calving going on.
• We would normally have been gearing up for the Sales at Carlisle and Stirling, but much time and effort is being spent on the alternatives that are being offered.
• Carlisle have taken the timed Auction route which the catalogue is on our online database for, the dairy bull sale has been reported as a success so let us see if the format works for beef bulls too.
• Stirling are offering a Farm to Farm sales brokerage to the vendors booked into the UA sale and we will wait and see how that format works with all the years of experience being put into running that.
• Neither format it must be accepted would possibly not be as effective as the normal sales avenue, but we must run with the times and keep as many options open to all to make sales and generate income.
• ROI membership are also working on a virtual sale format that will also include some lots from the North.
• Dungannon and all sale catalogues are still available online and many members are also posting on stock for sale and stock wanted on the website.
• Show season would have been just around the corner and many of you will have spent a long time and much expense preparing show teams. We are working on a virtual show format which we may bring to the fore later so take photos, lots of photos of your show teams and watch this space.
• We have been working very hard to bring an upgrade to our DNA programme which is in the final stages of being sorted out infrastructure wise, thanks to all involved in that at Pedigree House and council members for their input.
• Online meetings and follow ups with both Identigen and Wetherby’s continue to make sure that we are all on the same page.
• It is a great step forward that we are taking in this field and it opens a huge number of new opportunities, ensuring that we get it right and are doing it for the right reasons is paramount.
• Another project that has been taking a fair bit of resource is a change in our Marketing partners. We thank the team at Denvir Marketing for looking after us for the last 5 years we wish them all well with their future endeavours.
• The handover of the resources that we have built up over those five years is considerable and will be transferred to our new team by the time that you are reading this newsletter which we start working with on the first of May 2020.
• Well done again to all the team for managing to work through all the teething problems that we have come across in the change to working practices i.e. from home.
• Looking at opportunities to attend shows assisted by Grant funding in support of Export to Europe, Euro tier being the first of many opportunities.
• Please be assured that we are all working very hard to try and maintain a service to the membership in the current circumstances.
• Our changes in working environment and practices will inevitably mean that some of the requests that I and the team receive may be hampered in their execution not because we choose not to it may well be that we have not got the full facilities to hand to make a quick fix
• Please bear with us and we will deliver you a full service when we return to normal office working – whenever that may be!
• I decided to take a week’s holiday while in the lockdown this week so a bit of a short and sweet report.

News & Notices from the Office Manager Laura Stewart

• It is pretty much business as usual now that we are all working from home and the teething problems that were experienced with IT issues for remote working are thankfully starting to die down. We have a staff rota to allow one member of staff to be in the office in isolation briefly every other day to deal with incoming, outgoing mail, essential printing etc. and this has been working well to keep things progressing as best we can.
• Minutes and actions resulting from the Council and committee meetings are nearing completion and the next task will be the Certified Aberdeen-Angus Beef Scheme administration for the new scheme year.
• As mentioned in the last update, e-mails are the preferred method of communication but should you be unable to email the telephones at Pedigree House are on divert to personal Mobile phones and these will be answered during the normal working hours of each member of the team.

News & Notices from the Registrations Department

• Caroline, Fiona, and Yvonne are working as hard as we can at home to keep up to date with registrations. We are sending out invoices by email whenever we can so please check your inboxes for these. Any registration queries will also come by email.
• Tissue samples are still being logged by Identigen and we are sending out Certificates of Pedigree as soon as we can. We are only in office once a week so please bear with us if it takes a little longer than usual.
• Please get in touch with any queries – by email if possible but we are all still available on the usual phone numbers.

News & Notices from Pedigree Cattle Services

• A reminder to breeders to weigh their cattle before turn out as were not sure when scanners will be back on the road, if you require any up to date weigh sheets please contact either Barbara, Helena or Amy.
• Due to the Coronavirus restrictions in place the scanners are not operating until further notice.
To have at least growth EBVs in place, can breeders please weigh their cattle before turn out. As scan data can be accepted up to 30 months of age hopefully the scanners can catch up with the backlog later in the year if the situation allows.
We are up to date with weights at the moment but with communications being a bit hampered if you would like your weights to be included in the next ABRI run (8th May) please send them in with plenty of time available pre the close off date.
Email is a must on this so please send to Barbara directly: [email protected]
• If any members have photos of sale animals, and you would like them uploaded onto the website catalogue please send them to either Barbara or Amy.

From us all at the society we hope you have a great weekend and stay safe!

Share on Social Media
Aberdeen-Angus Cattle Society Logo Cattle Only