Bi-Weekly Update – Friday 11th December 2020

Bi-Weekly Update – Friday 11th December 2020


Bi-Weekly Update – Friday 11th December 2020:

Here is the last Bi-Weekly Update of 2020! Where has the year gone? Below is what has been going on over the last 14 days…

Society Announcement: The sad passing of Alistair Rettie:

It is with sadness that we must report the passing of Alistair Rettie on Sunday the 29th of November in Yorkshire, three weeks before his 91st birthday.

Alistair was the son of Albert and father of Richard Rettie of the “Retties” Herd based in Methven near Perth where along with his wife Carol run their highly successful livery and cattle fitting company.  Richard, Carol, and their team are well known on the circuit of shows and sales today and very much carry on the family involvement with cattle particularly Aberdeen-Angus.

In their day Albert was a past winner of the Candacraig cup or the herdsman’s cup, and in 1956 Alistair when he was stockman for Messrs Osmond, was also awarded the trophy to the stockman amassing the highest points awarded for placings at the Bull sales in Perth, also in 1956, Alastair brought out the supreme champion at Perth, Black Baron of Barnoldby, which sold for 16,000gns – a record price for an hour or two before Stype Editor sold for 17,000gns. He also won the championship at the Royal Smithfield Show for Osmonds – but with a Hereford!

A very well known, popular and respected stockman who passed on his knowledge and experience to Richard.

Our thoughts go out to Richard, Carol, and family at this sad time.

Barrie L. Turner


Dartrey Herd leads Dungannon Aberdeen-Angus trade at 2,600gns:

A small entry of Aberdeen-Angus bulls sold to a top of 2,600gns at the native breeds sale with a 57% clearance rate, hosted by Dungannon Farmers’ Mart on Tuesday 1st December 2020.

Sale leader was the twenty-month-old Dartrey Ebenetze V237 TSI+30 SRI+40 bred by Hylda Mills and Brian Johnston, who run 35 pedigree cows at Scarva, County Down. Bred from the Logie Lustre F473 daughter Dartrey Esme N134, he was sired by the home-bred Dartrey Elliott S467, crowned best stock bull in the NI Aberdeen-Angus Club’s 2020 herd competition.

Displaying great presence and conformation he caught the eye of suckler herd owner Sarah Conn from Magilligan, County Londonderry.

Second highest bid of the day 2,500gns was paid to Richard and Fiona, McKeown, Templepatrick, for the June 2019 Ashvale Monty V134. He was sired by the Netherton Mr Brazilian E377 son Ashvale Lord Jasper T285, and is out of Ashvale Millie T215. Buyer was Daniel Campbell from Lurgan, County Armagh.

Following close behind at 2,400gns was the February 2019 Ember Proud Kuga V531 TSI+33 SRI+45 bred by Freddie Davidson, Banbridge. Sired by Cheeklaw Edgar R515, his dam is the Nightingale Dunbar K551 daughter Drumcrow Karla – one of 16 cows in the herd. Buyer was dairy farmer Fred Burrows from Castlecaulfield, County Tyrone, who has been using Aberdeen-Angus stock bulls in his 60-cow herd for over 15 years.

Robin Lamb, and sons Stuart, Ben and Peter from Richhill, County Armagh, realised 2,200gns for the March 2019 Richhill Electro V281 TSI+35 SRI+48. He was sired by the 40-cow herd’s stock bull Weeton King Lear R452, and is bred from the Friarstown Prairie Chief M228 daughter Richhill Ellen Erica R845. Buyer was dairy herd owner Seamus McQuaid from Trillick, County Tyrone.

Females sold to 2,000gns, paid to Kevin McOscar, Cookstown, County Tyrone, for the July 2018 Island Farm Esmeralda U445. Sired by Balmachie Lord Jock R198, she was bred from Cheeklaw Ellon L385. Included in the price was her September born Belack Lord Handsome L739 heifer calf. Click here to view the full report and pictures.

Royal Ulster Premier Beef & Lamb Championships 2020:

At the recent Royal Ulster Agriculture Society Beef & Lamb Championships Aberdeen-Angus were on a high with the Native Championship going to Mr Richard Law from Ballinamallard. This fantastic animal also received the title of Champion Aberdeen-Angus earlier in the day. On the night, Stephen Millar from Millar Meats in Irvinestown purchased this fantastic animal for £2700.

The Reserve Champion Aberdeen-Angus at the 2020 Royal Ulster Premier Beef & Lamb Championships was awarded to D & A McCrea from Strabane. This animal was purchased by Omagh Meats for £2200.

In the Ulster Housewife’s section, the Reserve Ulster Housewife’s Champion was an Aberdeen-Angus sired heifer exhibited by Jack Smyth from Newtownstewart. On the night, this superb animal was purchased by Stephen Millar from Millar Meats, Irvinestown for £2400. Click here to view the full report and pictures.

Upcoming Society Sales:

United Auctions Stirling February Bull Sales 2021

Monday 1st February 2021


Programme of events

(There are still some outstanding herd health declaration forms to be sent in – a reminder email was sent out on Thursday, please send your herd health declarations in ASAP).

Aberdeen & Northern Marts – Pedigree Bull Sale 2021:

Wednesday 24th February 2021

Entries close: Monday 5th January 2021

For entry forms please click here 

Please ensure that your bulls have been DNA parentage tested, Myostatin tested and your herd health is up to date before the Christmas holidays to ensure there is plenty time to process them prior to the closing date.

The registrations team can be contacted on 01738 622477 or email Caroline: [email protected]

Premier Pedigree Spring Sale 27th March 2021 at Melton Mowbray:

The Aberdeen-Angus Cattle Society will be supporting the Premier Pedigree Spring Sale at Melton Mowbray on Saturday 27th March 2021.

Closing date for entries is Thursday 25th February 2021.

Entry Forms are available from Melton Mowbray Market – 01664 562 971.

The plan is to have a Show if permitted (depending on the coronavirus situation come March).

If showing goes ahead the market is planning on starting at 9:00am or possibly earlier and the sale to begin at 12:00.

Inspections are suggested to be on the Friday night starting at 4pm through till 6pm (TBC).

Once the Society receives more information, we will update the membership.

Norbreck Genetics Launches Exclusive Hoodie Alongside Doddie Weir Foundation:

Leading beef and dairy genetics company, Norbreck Genetics, has teamed up with former Rugby Union player and Motor Neurone Disease (MND) sufferer Doddie Weir to offer a Doddie Weir inspired hoodie with profits going to the My Name’5 Doddie Foundation. To find out more and how to order your hoodie please click here

YDP Instagram Takeover: 

We are looking for each of our YDP participants to take over the YDP Instagram page @aberdeenangusydp.

If you have an interesting week planned on the farm, or an exciting trip planned, or just your varied life on the farm then please contact us to book your week.

Our members are looking forward to varied, fun and fresh, posts, videos and photos from you.
Email: [email protected] to book your week.

Stock for Sale & Stock Wanted:

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).

Staff Update:

The staff are all still working from home and continue as a team to deliver to the best of their ability to the membership. Due to the volume of emails that are being received at present please bear with us and we will reply as soon as we possibly can.

In order to work more efficiently in relation to the large volume of emails that are received, please be aware that the [email protected] email address is being wound down and is no longer monitored regularly. Should you email this address you will receive a standard reply to this effect asking you to email the correct person from the contact us page on the website, so that your enquiry can be dealt with as quickly as possible by the person responsible for the particular task. To make this process more streamlined, we are currently working to update the contact us page with a brief description of the main duties that each member of staff deal with to help you select the most appropriate person to contact.

By contacting the correct person by email in the first instance we hope that you will receive a quicker response to your enquiry and urge you to do this going forward so please embrace this change and let’s make it work and the whole business work smarter going forward.
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 (01738 448345) – [email protected]

Laura Stewart, Office Manager (01738 448343) – [email protected]

Angela Cumming, Accounts (01738 448344) – [email protected]

Caroline Ford, Registrations, Sales (01738 448341) – [email protected]

Fiona Flood, Registrations, New member enquiries (01738 448342) – [email protected]

Amy Johnstone, Shows & Sales, Stock For Sale, Stock Wanted, Website & Social Media Updates (01738 448348) – [email protected]

Barbara Webster, Pedigree Cattle Services (01738 448346) – [email protected]

Helena Stewart, Aberdeen-Angus Accounts & Pedigree Cattle Services (01738 448347) – [email protected]

News & Notices from CEO, Barrie Turner:

  • As always, the Covid-19 restrictions that we face in Perth continue unchanged with the office remaining closed to visitors and the default still being if you can work from home you should.
  • It has now been 8 months since Pedigree House was fully populated and who would have known that this would have been the case on the 23rd March 2020 when the whole year has changed the way that we work.
  • Although we are functioning well the whole process of everything, we do is just a bit slower so please continue to bear with us we are all doing our best we possibly can to meet your needs.
  • As we have headed into December the normal build up to the Christmas break has not been very festive this year as there is no one in the office to appreciate a few decorations but hopefully 2021 will have a better outlook as the vaccination programme rolls out and normality can return.
  • Since the last update and as mentioned in what’s coming up we have held all of our Committee meetings on Zoom. Thanks to all concerned for making themselves available and contributing to the Society business.
  • The Zoom boom continues with more and more time being spent talking to my laptop! If you had said to me this time last year I would have been doing that I would have told you to have your bumps felt!
  • We normally have a full day of Committee meetings in December with 45 mins to an hour to deal with the business in hand. Committee meetings have been taking 2-3 hours each so have been a big part of the time in the last period to fit them all in.
  • Well done to Laura Stewart for arranging and co ordination all these meetings, attending and turning the minutes round in super quick fashion no mean feat I can assure you.
  • I have been in constant communication with the HR Committee over the last two weeks with several things to be discussed and concluded following the staff reviews.
  • I had my annual review with Paul Jeenes and Alan Cheney and safe to say that was a game of two halves with both having their say in a frank, honest and open discussion.
  • The deadlines for collating the 2020 review have now passed and it has all gone into design, we should be receiving the first draft very soon and we hope to have it signed off and ready to go to print before Christmas.
  • Many thanks to the volunteers who have agreed to proofread it and again to Natalie Cormack and Amy Johnstone for their tenacity in chasing the last few bits down.
  • Good news for our EU members who use Breedplan we have now got a way of continuing that service without registering their cattle which after the 1st January 2021 we can no longer do.
  • We are hopefully on the last lap of the process which will enable our relationship with our Republic of Ireland membership to co9ntinue to be affiliated to the Society here in the UK.
  • Fiona Flood has picked up the baton with the administration for our members in the Republic of Ireland 0ver the last couple of weeks
  • Not been easy to pick this up from a standing start but well done to her and Caroline and Amy for making the “space” for her to do that. Thanks too to Kathryn Bradshaw for adjusting her working pattern to fit with Fiona, a proper teamwork exercise that has come together to make it work
  • Requests for Willie McLarens two centuries of change is coming in thick and fast a very nice Christmas gift for the Aberdeen-Angus enthusiast in your life.

  • We have had one or two issues that have come up of bulls throwing white markings on their calves, it is important to remember that the bull is only half the story the female has a part to play as well.
  • We continue to make progress on the maternal index and the importance of understanding the integration of all the traits concerned is an arduous one but progress none the less has been made.
  • The process of working with AGI in the US still goes on with a new set of markers and profiles being tried out for parent verification of American embryos being an issue as if we can’t parent verify them, we can’t register them.
  • If you are flushing females please, please, please make sure that you have the Dams DNA tested and on her record, again if we can’t parent verify the embryos when they are born, we can’t verify them or export them.
  • Nominations for the new Council members this year closed last Friday with somewhat a disappointingly few candidates being put forward leaving Co-option in two areas the only option.
  • The Stirling February sale arrangements and timings have been finalised and published. With a bit of luck a bit more of a sale atmosphere will be the case.
  • The latest Government guidelines on the Path to sustainable farming have been published in the last period and we are working with Pinstone to make the most we can of that and use it to promote our breed to the industry.
  • ICBF have been busy on the meat-eating quality in a huge population of bulls from all breeds and it shows the Aberdeen-Angus in a particularly good light when it comes to meat eating quality.
  • See attached links below for the ICBF findings on meat eating quality:


Breeding for Superior Beef Meat Eating Quality

Breeding for more tender, juicy and flavoursome steaks

New Meat Eating Quality Proofs of Beef AI Sires

  • We all know this anyway and it is great to have some figures to back up our claims and use in our marketing story because its okay producing beef but its really has got to taste good too.
  • I am very pleased to announce that we will be supporting a Multi Breed Sale at Melton Mowbray Market on the 27th March 2021 to give a society sale venue in the eastern side of the UK in support of our membership in that part of the world.
  • That is just a snapshot of all the activities that we have going on in the Society now but reporting everything would be a lengthy process as well as an onerous read for you!
  • It just leaves me to, on this final Bi-Weekly update of 2020 to wish you all a very Merry Christmas and a Happy prosperous and successful 2021 on behalf of the team here at Pedigree house.







News & Notices from Office Manager, Laura Stewart:

The main committee and council meetings have been taking place remotely over the last two weeks.  As usual, should any member have something that they wish to raise, please contact your local Council member in the first instance.  Contact details can be found on the Society website by clicking here

Members in Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland should now have received the 2021 IAAA nomination paper.  Completed nomination papers should be sent direct to Kathryn Bradshaw.

News & Notices form the Accounts Department:


When making payment through the internet banking, please ensure that you quote your MEMBERSHIP NUMBER and SURNAME as a refence.  This ensures that your payment is allocated to the correct account.


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 on the link below:


News & Notices from the Registrations Department:

We are continuing to catch up with any queries and emails – please bear with us if it takes us a few days to reply.   Again please call Caroline or Fiona if anything is urgent.

DNA testing is underway for the February 2021 Sale in Stirling – the lab is closed over the Christmas break.  Please remember to send us you Herd Health declaration as soon as you can.

We are anticipating the ending of Microsatellite DNA testing at the end of 2021 and going forward all stock bulls and ET donor dams will have to have 50K SNP profiles.  Animals tested on the 200 ISAG panel will need to be retested on the 50K platform if they are to be used as stock bulls or donor dams.

We also had the facility on Microsatellite to build a profile for bulls that were dead by testing their calves and their dams – this process is not possible on SNPS so again it is very important to check that a bull has the correct DNA before you use him.  DNA results can be checked on the database but please give us a call if you have any doubts.  Bulls should all be 50K SNP tested,  MYOSTATIN status checked and Sire verified before they are used.

We are also working through backlog left in the Republic of Ireland following Yvonne’s resignation.  Please bear with us – registrations are being processed now.  Hopefully we will be nearly up to date by the Christmas break.

News & Notices from Pedigree Cattle Services:

We are up to date with weights at the moment but if you would like your weights to be included in the next ABRI run (8th January) 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 catalogues please send them to either Barbara or Amy.

News & Notices from the Ireland Office:

Seasons Greetings:

The Irish Aberdeen-Angus Association would like to extend its warmest best wishes to all its members this festive season and we look forward to kicking off the Spring sales in early 2021 and hope the New Year brings all of our members good health and prosperity.

 Nominations to Council:

The Irish Aberdeen-Angus Association is seeking nominations for the 2021 council with vacancies open in all four of the geographical constituencies. All members should have received their nomination papers by post but additional copies can be obtained from the Secretary on 071 9632099. Completed nominations papers should be returned to Mrs Kathryn Bradshaw, Secretary, Irish Aberdeen-Angus Association, Main Street, Mohill, Co. Leitrim before noon on Thursday, December 31st 2020.

From us all at the Society we hope you have a great weekend, stay safe and have a wonderful Christmas and a Happy New Year!

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