Bi-Weekly Update: 28th February 2020

Bi-Weekly Update: 28th February 2020


And just like that February is over! It has been a very busy month here at the Society with show and sale season kicking off, we look forward to welcoming a warmer spring and get rid of this wet miserable weather as we now move into March. In a fortnight packed with activity, we’ve seen the YDP Senior Conference and Royal Northern Spring Show and Sale taking place amongst the other day-to-day duties in the office at Pedigree House. Take a look at what’s been going on in and around the Society over the last 14 days!

News Roundup

New Irish Aberdeen-Angus Association President Takes Office, John McEnroe of the Liss Aberdeen-Angus herd in Oldcastle, Co Meath officially took up the position of President of the Irish Aberdeen-Angus Association at the Irish Aberdeen-Angus Association’s annual AGM at the Mullingar Park Hotel, Mullingar.

Eustace Burke of the Clontead Aberdeen-Angus herd was elevated to the position of Senior Vice-President of the Irish Aberdeen-Angus Association whilst John Blackburn of the Killaney Aberdeen-Angus herd joined the presidential table, taking on the role of Junior Vice-President of the Irish Aberdeen-Angus Association.

Finally, the Irish Aberdeen-Angus Association would like to express a word of thanks to all of the members who travelled to Mullingar for the AGM and wish the Presidential team all the very best for their upcoming term in office. For the full story please head over to our News & Features section on the website.

Inaugural All-Star Pedigree Breeder Awards, John McEnroe and family of the Liss Aberdeen-Angus herd, Oldcastle, Co Meath secured the Aberdeen-Angus prize at the recent All-Star Pedigree Breeder Awards hosted by the Pedigree Breeders’ Association of Ireland (PBAI) in Portlaoise earlier this month. This prize was claimed on the back of securing the All-Ireland Aberdeen-Angus championship last summer and is the latest in a long line of showing accolades for the Liss prefix.

Their 2019 All-Ireland triumph, with stock bull Mogeely Dreamer T534 marked the fourth time that the Liss Aberdeen-Angus herd has lifted the prestigious national Aberdeen-Angus trophy – with their previous win coming 21 years ago. Well done to John and all the McEnroe family on their latest success – a fitting way to cap an excellent 2019 showing season for the Liss Aberdeen-Angus herd. For the full story please head over to our News & Features section on the website.

YDP Senior Conference

The YDP Senior Conference for 2020 was a great success. Basing the event around Banbury, we travelled to different venues to offer a diverse experience for our 17 participants, who travelled from all areas of the UK and Ireland. Meaning that they met up with both old and new friends.

Friday’s visit to Dunbia/Dawn Meats processing plant at Cardington, Bedford, was a real eye opener to all and the board room discussions that followed really demonstrated how switched on our seniors are. Huge thanks to Sarah Haire, Mark Allen and all at Dunbia/Dawn Meats for sponsoring the YDP Senior conference again this year. Their support is tremendously appreciated.

Friday evening saw us booking into our hotel in Banbury and after a short break, we assembled for dinner followed by a proactive and fun presentation from young vets Emma and Meg from Drove Vets. We then settled down to a quiz and social time.

Saturday to Melview Farm, Dymock, Gloucestershire. Thanks to Paul and Kirsty Westerway for warm welcome and super lunch. Big thank you also to all our speakers on the day.

Alex Brown and Emma Steele AHDB on Genetics and EBV’s.
Marc Jones, Grassland Consultant workshop on Rotational grazing. (sponsored by AHDB)
Clive Davies for Suckler Cow condition scoring.
Paul Westerway presentation on Adding Value to his Farm.

Reading the reviews from the day, all those present expressed how what they had learnt today, would be useful to take back and review some practices back on farm.


Rob Havard, presentation on Holistic organic Angus suckler herd using mob grazing system. Very insightful. Our group really enjoyed this presentation, questioning Rob on his practices, following this Rob was impressed with our group of young people, and asked if he could sign up his 3 children for YDP.

Sunday morning

Visit to Glympton herd for Management discussion followed by stock judging of pedigree heifers and males for slaughter Thanks to master stock judges Alex McLaren and Terry Ives. Huge thanks to Trevor and Vanessa Kirk, Herd Managers.

The calibre of those in attendance was exceptional, they were engaged and participative in all workshops, and having completed their evaluation forms, their positive approach has meant that they are all ready for the next one, which hopefully will be planned around the Scottish Borders. For the full story from the eventful weekend please head over to our latest news and features section on the website.

Top call of 4,200gns at the 2020 Thainstone Spring Show and Sale, The annual Spring Show and Sale at Thainstone Agricultural Centre took place yesterday (26th February), with 10 out of 16 Aberdeen-Angus bulls selling to an average of £3,108 on what was a reasonable day of trade up north.

Topping the sale at 4,200gns was Wrae Birthday Bollinger U361 of AJ & WM Norrie of Wrae Farm in Turriff. This one is by Haymount Wivesso and out of Wrae Bonny Babs and is on his way to A & C Watson of Stonehavnen. Next best at 3,800gns in the sale ring was Tynet Phoenix U040 of H Thomson from Tynet Farm in Buckie, by Warrenho Dalmigavie out of Fearn Abbey Poppy. Phoenix was purchased by Gellan Farms of Coull, Aboyne.
Birckenbower Flynn U518, a Casino Buffon son out of Coreen Flavia, sold to Miller of Ackergill from G & R Miller of Huntly for 3,500gns in the next best price from the ring on the day. Following at 3,200gns was Foggie Enzo U225 of Karl Scott’s Foggie Herd in Turriff. Enxo is out of Culrain Evelyn by Blelack Kanny Lad and is headed for Orkney with JS & HM Ham.

Reaching a price of 2,900gns was Blelack Box Set U944 of Messrs Neil Massie’s Blelack Herd in Aboyne. Box Set is a Tonley Jester Eric son out of Blelack Beautiful Lady and was purchased by A & C Watson of Stonehaven. Two then followed at 2,500gns, first being Neil Wattie’s Tonley Everest U481. This one is by Blelack Evermore out of Tonley Equidora and was purchased by J Watson of Fraserburgh on the day. At the same money was Logie Bonanza U794 of AJR Farms in Aberdeenshire. Bonanza is a son of Rawburn Enoch out of Logie Brunette and was purchased by Oosterhof & Co of Corsekelly Farm in Fraserburgh.

2,100gns was then paid for two bulls, first being Neil Massie’s Morven Edison U023, sired by Fordel Proud Foremarke and out of Morven Edwina. Edison was purchased by JB McIntosh of Goval Farm in Aberdeen. Following at the same money was Tynet Frank Thetank U049 (ET) of H Thomson in Buckie. This one is a Gretnahouse Blackpot son by Raethorn Frances and was sold to Forge Fish F in Huntly. For the full report from the show and sale please go to the shows & sales news section on the website.

Penwac AGM:
• 1st March 2020 @ 11am.
• To be held at the Best Western Garstang Country Hotel and Golf Club, Garstang, PR3 1YE.
• AGM at 11am followed by 3 course meal at 1pm £16.50pp.
• Followed by speaker CEO Barrie Turner.
• All Breeders welcome to book a place please contact Mary Hamnett – 07817083995.

The Stirling May Bull Sales online entry form is now OPEN!
Sunday 3rd & Monday 4th May 2020 (closing date 20th March)
Please Click Here to access the online entry form

The Danish Angus Aberdeen Association Invites you to a seminar, the general assembly, the 50th anniversary and herd visits:

Friday, March 20, 2020, at 10.00 a.m. to 5.00 p.m. at Axelborg.
Celebration dinner at 7.00 p.m. and overnight stay at Hotel Scandic Sluseholmen in Copenhagen.
Saturday, March 21, 2020, departure from the hotel at 8.30 a.m. for Møn and Falster to visit two herds.
For all the information for this please click here

To keep up with all other news from the Society as well as all the latest updates from shows, sales and other events, just head over to the appropriate sections on our website:

Latest News & Features
Show & Sale News

News & Notices from the CEO

• A bout of Sickness has run through the office over the last fortnight which is just taking the edge off our efforts at the moment. We wish all the staff affected a speedy recovery and their journey back to full health a speedy one.
• Many thanks to all the staff at Pedigree House for pulling together as a team to plug the various gaps especially Helena Stewart who has taken on without question an extra chunk of work to keep the machine running!
• Preparation for the forthcoming council meetings is well underway with the last one only being three weeks ago speed of collating the required information is key. Well done and thanks to Laura for pulling all that together.
• We have finalised the committees for the forthcoming year and appointed all chairs and packed agendas with lots of to dos, but we hope to deliver a great deal to the party this year.
• I have finally received approval on the 21st of February that the long running development of the breeding programme meets all the legislation. Work to do now in incorporating the programme into the bye laws and communicating this out when finished to the membership.
• Now with a translator to be put into German language and we can push forward and bring our dispute with the Bavarian authorities which has been running for four years to an end.
• The next stage is to apply to extend our breeding programme into the Republic of Ireland so that we can maintain the status quo with our activities for our members in the EU country!
• Date for the diary 10th June 2020 at JC lister farms at Ripon in Yorkshire preparation for what I believe will be a great showcase for the breed continues.
• We held a very constructive meeting with our DNA partners at Edinburgh with a strong committee to review where we are and where we need to be to enhance the programme. Thanks to all for the time given up making that happen.
• I had a meeting with QMS where they conveyed and unveiled their new platform for communication with the supply chain, great steps forward in joining up the gaps.
• The NBA pedigree beef breeders meeting is coming up, I can’t attend but have submitted some thoughts on some of the agenda items to be considered.
• Travelled up to Tain to join the Highland Club for the evening of their AGM, many thanks to you all for the usual warm Highland welcome and your hospitality on the evening especially Gill McGregor for her input into my attendance.
• Worked through and finalised the Chronicle that we are putting together on the changes that the breed has gone through with Willie McLaren, just a few more pieces to do but it is now with Denvir for formatting. Thanks to the team concerned
• Tuesday saw the QMS red meat conference in Glasgow which was a great event and really well put together a lot of information but one question came from the floor was “Are you advocating Native Breeds as the way forward” This seemed to me that the information being put out was certainly guiding the audience that way!
• A good evening with the Borders Aberdeen Angus club at their AGM, thank you for the welcome and hospitality, to Natalie Cormack for her help with the arrangements and her expertise with IT. To Jim Boreland for picking me up and dropping me off and the good company shared with the members on the evening.
• Popped in on the return to Perth to catch up with John and Marion Tilson good to catch up and find out their thoughts on a few things.
• It’s the Argentinian Associations 100th anniversary, we were asked to submit some history pieces and d some information on the special relationship between Argentina and the UK. This has been submitted with the help of Bob Anderson and Eddie Gillanders thank you both for your help.
• Keep a watch out for any details of a trip which may be organised by “Gillanders Travels “ to visit Argentina to celebrate this anniversary.
• Held a meeting with Denvir about our plans for marketing this year and submitted these to the new chair of Breed Promotions for consideration in March.
• It is insurance renewal time and I had a meeting with our NFU representative to review and renew our policies for the year. As always some work to be done following that to ensure we are not at risk with some of our activities.
• The next fortnight sees me in the office full time, while we are shorthanded and a good chance to get both sorted out with the amount of information that I need for council and spend some time on how we can reshape things going forward in the office.
• Joining the Penwac club on Sunday for their AGM and looking forward to seeing as many of you there as can get and contributing to the day.
• The above is just some of the snippets that I feel worthy of reporting and I hope this gives you a feel for what’s going on in and around the society.

News & Notices from the Office Manager Laura Stewart

• Council and committee meeting preparation is well underway. As a reminder, the next Council meeting will be held on 12th March – any member wishing to raise any points with Council should do so through their local Council representative in advance of the meeting. Please see our website to find your representative.

News & Notices from the Accounts Department

A kindly reminder that membership for 2020 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? Please click here:  INVOICES BY EMAIL

News & Notices from the Registrations Department

• The 2019/2020 initiative of having all male calves that are registered, DNA profiled using the new SNPS technology is well under way. Please be aware we can only sire verify each calf if its sire has a SNPS profile. Should you currently have an active stock bull which has not been tested on the new SNPS platform, you may wish to contact us to request this to be done. This is NOT compulsory however it would ease the transition of moving from Microsatellite DNA to SNPS DNA.

• It would be more cost effective to retest current stock bulls on SNPS as the society is testing all 2019 born male calves at no expense to the breeder. If we have no SNPS profile for the sire we cannot sire-verify these calves.


Stock bull with microsatellite profile only – all progeny will need to be tested on SNPS and microsatellite – 2 tests in total.
• Stock bull with SNPS profile – all progeny will be sire verified – 1 test in total.

News & Notices from Pedigree Cattle Services

• With the new Society rules coming in at the start of the year for weight for age at all Official Society sales, here is a list showing the weight for age weightings for the next upcoming sales at Worcester (4th April), Stirling (3rd & 4th May) & Carlisle (9th May). Please click on the documents below for each sale to check the weight for age:




News & Notices from YDP

The closing date for the Youth World Forum in April 2021 is drawing near, applications have been sent in and during March the YDP Selection Committee will decide on their short list. This will be announced on 1st April.

Successful short listers will be asked to attend a team building weekend over 23rd/24th May in the Durham area.

Spring is almost here and Workshops are looming, fill out and send your registration forms into:

[email protected]

Our first workshop is:

Saturday 28th March – Morpheus Herd, Owen Tunney, Manor Farm, Cuddington Lane, Cuddington, Cheshire CW8 2TE. Email: [email protected] to book your place.

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


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