Bi-Weekly Update – 8th May 2020

Bi-Weekly Update – 8th May 2020


That is the UK into its 44th day of lockdown which makes the first day of Lockdown (23rd March) seem a long time ago now…

We hope your all well and staying safe and we all hope we can get back to some sort of normality soon! Here’s a roundup of what has been happening over the last 14 days within the Society.

News Roundup

Sandy Fordyce OBITUARY – Bridgefoot Aberdeen-Angus. The Aberdeenshire farmer who bred the animal which became the model for the life-size bronze sculpture of the Aberdeen-Angus bull which stands on the outskirts of Alford has died. OBITUARY – SANDY FORDYCE

Breedplan Scanners: Breedplan Scanners are back on the road this week. At the moment they will just be scanning local (within a couple of hour’s drive) as there is no accommodation available. Hopefully, they will catch up with the backlog soon. Please contact them if you need scanning done so they can schedule you in…, if you require any up to date weigh sheets please contact either Barbara, Helena or Amy.

Announcement on World Angus Forum 2021: Regrettably, due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, the World Angus Forum Organising Committee has made the difficult decision to cancel the World Angus Forum, originally scheduled to be conducted in April 2021.
To read the full announcement please click here


UA STIRLING – 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 – Online timed auction has now STARTED, you can start bidding on bulls now. Click here to view the catalogue, register to bid online and place your bids

Champions of The Decade: The Scottish Farmer Champions of The Decade has been a real hit and the Aberdeen-Angus votes have now been counted and the three finalists have been selected which can be seen in this weeks Scottish Farmer. The Society has now picked our judge which we are sure will make a great job! Thank you to our head of Shows & Sales Dallas and Amy Johnstone for getting everything together to make this fun competition such as success. We look forward to our judge choosing his Champion and letting you all know in a Scottish Farmer press release in the next few weeks.

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).

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]

News & Notices from The CEO Barrie Tuner:

• As we travel through these uncharted waters that are being created by the COVID-19 pandemic we continue to adapt to the circumstances that we find ourselves in.
• There is not looking like there will be any returns to normal in the very near future and the fact that we have not furloughed any staff and can work remotely to avoid contact and therefore spread we will perhaps be in the last category of business that can return to normal working.
• We have welcomed Angela Cumming back with a phased return to work following her recent absence owing to unforeseen family circumstances, we are facilitating her working from home and it will be a week or two before Angela returns to full bore activity but great to have her back.
• Thanks to Helena Stewart for her efforts in bumping the finances along keeping bills paid and bank balance in order!
• We are reviewing due to changes in the workload looming at Pedigree House going forward, a revisit of job descriptions and task load for all at Pedigree house is underway and hopefully will be at a point to be discussed and implemented when we return to normal working.
• We have changed our marketing provider following the last meeting of Council, many thanks to Denvir Marketing for their last 5 years input and for the professionalism shown during the handover of the collateral we have amassed.
• Although it’s an easy thing to just say make a change the transfer of our activities has been quite a workload over the past 6 weeks but we are there now and the final switches have been flicked.
• Pinstone Communications are now on board as our new partners in marketing, a company with an extensive agricultural client portfolio and we will be working on our approach to marketing in these very different times to suit the conditions and the marketplace.
• Our DNA programme has been reviewed and will be changing its focus going forward and there will be some changes in the process that you must follow with samples after the middle of June.
• A big piece of work on this is to ensure that we communicate clearly and effectively the changes and the reasons behind the changes which are all good for the breed and the brand. We are working on communicating this to you so that there is a smooth changeover and a clear understanding of the new processes.
• A further part of this is ensuring that our respective partners in DNA are fully on board with our aims and aspirations again a big piece of work involving Caroline and Fiona from the registrations department in adapting IRL2 system to work better and smarter for us.
• Great work going on with ABRI, Wetherby’s and Identigen in this department now with regular Zoom calls with all parties making this happen effectively and quickly.
• Communications at the moment are difficult I need to ask you all to watch the website and visit regularly for the updates, postage of hard copies of all we need to communicate to you is both challenging and in the current pandemic perceived as dangerous, so digital is a way around this.
• Amy Johnstone is doing a great job in keeping the website updated and anything needing to be shared on social media.
• Stock for sale is busy now but keep visiting and posting as it is a popular web site first page visit for many.
• Sales and shows this year are done with a few more cancellations coming in over the last fortnight the next couple of weeks sees the timed auction at Carlisle and UA at Stirling using their contacts and experience to make farm to farm sales in these uncertain times.
• October is the next sales fixture in the calendar, and we will just have to take that day by day to see if some normality can resume with the pedigree sales formats.
• A limited return to work over the next week or two with the Scanning service so we can keep up with the performance recording side, book your appointments and also ensure that social distancing measures can be put in place at your location.
• We are now using Zoom as a team to communicate with each other and as a team too, it’s great to see people again as the “four grey walls that surround me” were starting to close in!
• 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!

News & Notices from The Office Manager Laura Stewart:
• I have been working through some of the actions which have resulted from the minutes of the Council and committee meetings.
• I’ve corresponded with each of the members of the Certified Aberdeen-Angus Beef Scheme with regard to the renewal of their licenses and we have extended their current certificate from the scheme renewal date of 1st May for a period of 3 months to allow the necessary administration of invoices and certificates to be done.
• IT management relating to remote working continues.
• Looking into the mechanics of holding online meetings for committees and Council going forward so that we can keep progressing with the tasks in hand.
• Ongoing review of the Society’s Bye-Laws.
• 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
• The Irish work is being posted directly to Yvonne’s house to allow her to add all the registrations, transfers new members etc, to help keep as up to date as normal.
• All the cattle programmes, Farm Plan etc as well as online registrations are being processed as quickly as possible, to keep things ticking over.
• Please bear with us during this time of uncertainty and email with any queries you may have.

News & Notices from Pedigree Cattle Services
• Breedplan Scanners: Breedplan Scanners are back on the road this week. At the moment they will just be scanning local (within a couple of hour’s drive) as there is no accommodation available. Hopefully, they will catch up with the backlog soon. Please contact them if you need scanning done so they can schedule you in…, 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 were not back on the roads until the start of this week. To have at least growth EBVs in place, can breeders please weigh their cattle before turning 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.

News & Notices from The Ireland Office:

The Irish Aberdeen-Angus Association hosted its first ever online sale of pedigree Aberdeen-Angus bulls on Friday, April 24th with 44 bulls catalogued for the sale. The sale attracted 100 registered individual bidders with a total of 300 people watching the event unfold online with a top price of €3200 hit on two separate occasions. The first bull to hit €3200 was Drumcrow Proud Display U737 from Frank & Margaret McKiernan, Drumcrow, Corlismore, Co Cavan who sold to pedigree breeders Victor & Stephen Wallace of the Baronagh Aberdeen-Angus herd. The second bull to sell at €3200 was Liss Mandrin V847 from John & Sean McEnroe, Liss, Oldcastle, Co Meath who sold to John Lynch of the Portauns Aberdeen-Angus herd. Full details from the sale can be viewed by clicking here
Several breeders have pedigree Aberdeen-Angus bulls for sale privately and potential customers are encouraged to contact them directly. For a list of breeders in your area who may have bulls for sale presently click here
Now that the dust has settled on our first online bull sale, Kathryn is working hard in the office processing all the Spring calf registrations and the normal day to day business of the Association.


Have a great weekend and stay safe from us all at the Society.

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