We should have been attending The Royal Highland Show this week but unfortunately with the current circumstances we will not be attending any summer events. Fingers crossed for events later in the year! But we are looking forward to a busy summer schedule next year and catching up with many of you then! The weather has been great recently, and we hope many of you have been able to enjoy the sun while we are still under restrictions. We hope your all staying safe and well! Here is what has been happening in the society over the last 14 days.
VERY IMPORTANT ANNOUNCEMENT REF SOCIETY DNA TESTING
Further to the recent announcements of the change to the destination of DNA samples from the 1st June 2020, whereby the samples taken should be sent to PEDIGREE HOUSE and marked “DNA SAMPLES” we need to let you know about the changes that we are bringing about, and why.
Please click on the document below to read the full announcement:
Days to Calving:
Now that the breeding season is upon us and bulls have recently gone out/going out, to add more accuracy to the days to calving EBVs and include a measure of cow fertility in Breedplan evaluations, The Society would like to encourage breeders to record whole-herd reproductive performance by using the approved ‘Days to Calving’ Excel spreadsheet to submit data to Breedplan.
The ‘Days to Calving’ EBV is also a major component of the new Maternal index under development. Identifying the most fertile bloodlines will help breeders in selecting the most productive and hence most profitable cows.
Please note: Information will be accepted from previous years’ data. Please ensure absolute accuracy in your submissions. Do not ‘guestimate’ information or use incomplete data.
Below are the days to calving template to give you an example on how it works and also your own template for submitting:
Pre-order form – Herd Book Volume 144:
If you wish to place an order for the Herd Book Volume 144, please click on the link below to download and complete the form, then either email it back to: [email protected] or post it to the office for the attention of Angela BEFORE the 30th June 2020.
Access the pre-order form by clicking on the document below:
Loughans Herd Production Sale:
The Loughans Aberdeen-Angus herd production sale will take place on Thursday 25th June at 7pm at Markethill Livestock Mart with viewing by appointment through Markethill Mart on Wednesday evening (24th June) at Acton House Farm.
Any cattle to be export tested can be housed and tested on farm, online bidding is available on the night of the sale.
There is two charity lots of two sides of beef, butchered, frozen and packed by Hannan Meat (Meat merchant) of Moira with all proceeds of these two lots going to the Cancer Fund for Children.
To view the catalogue please click on the link below:
Free advertising on FG Buy & Sell:
Farmers Guardian’s newest marketplace FGBuyandSell.com is the perfect place to advertise stock to a dedicated audience. In these times of uncertainty, the Farmers Guardian understand how important it is for trade to continue. You can now pre-list your lots from the society sales FREE OF CHARGE on FGBuyandSell.com.
Search from over 1500 weekly listings, from breeding cattle, used machinery and property.
Here’s 5 great reasons to use www.fgbuyandsell.com
1. It is straightforward to post something on FGBuyandSell. With only a few clicks, your items can be online and ready for buyers to find!
2. We are 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 are 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 paid for advert on www.fgbuyandsell.com. Simply add LAUNCH5 at checkout to claim your discount.
If you need any further information or help getting your first advert uploaded, please get in touch with Katie Robinson at Farmers Guardian on 01772 799500.
STOCK FOR SALE & STOCK WANTED:
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).
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 (01738 448345) – [email protected]
Laura Stewart, Office Manager (01738 448343) – [email protected]
Caroline Ford, Registrations (01738 448341) – [email protected]
Fiona Flood, Registrations (01738 448342) – [email protected]
Yvonne Buchanan, Registrations (01738 448340) – [email protected]
Amy Johnstone, Pedigree Cattle Services, 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]
Congratulations to Barbara Webster from the office on winning The Scottish Farmers Jacob Champion of The Decade with her Jacob tup – FIREBALLS?
Well done Barbara!
News & Notices from CEO Barrie Turner:
• Another fortnight goes by and not much sign of being able to return to something like normal with a team return to Pedigree House.
• Please be assured that we have plans developing for the return to work and an investment will need to be made going forward in screening and precautionary measures to ensure staff safety.
• The danger of making the move back too soon is if lockdown is reinstated after we take that step and we have to go back to home working we would lose a lot of time that we can’t afford to lose!
• Angela Cumming continues her catch up with the finances and is progressing at great pace with that a huge thank you from me to her for her efforts with this task all things considered.
• The team are still working from home and continue to deliver services the best we can under the restrictions of COVID-19 again my gratitude goes to them for their efforts.
• We are however in a good place as the pandemic has meant that we have needed to adapt and change, many of the things that we are being forced to do at the moment are being questioned, can we do it another way?
• We will be keeping some of the adaptions when we return to normal whatever the normal is! As an example, we have subscribed to “Mailchimp” this is a mass email facility its fast efficient and inexpensive way of communicating with the membership.
• Thanks to Laura Stewart for sorting out all these new solutions mainly involving IT that will take us into new realms of efficient communication.
• It must be noted that we are not working under normal conditions and everything that we do is posing challenges that we are working around. As such there is a backlog on registration processing of around 6 weeks.
• I am looking at ways that we can have a more definitive measure on the backlog and hopefully the streamlining of our office processes once DNA module upgrade to the IRL2 software that we can monitor and speed up registration processing.
• Fiona in Registrations has unfortunately had to take a day or two out as her husband was taken ill, I believe at the time of writing he is on the mend and we wish them both well.
• A big piece of work is coming to fruition in terms of the way that we handle DNA and the infrastructure behind it and what we can do with it to benefit the breed. I hope that the further explanation of the changes helped with your understanding of why we have embarked on this route.
• It has been a case of agreeing a route at council which is easily said, and then putting everything in place to deliver the plan which is the challenging bit. Thanks to Caroline and Fiona and Yvonne for their input.
• An example of just one of the complexities is transferring our archive of 100k samples that you have collected over the last few years! Simply said but frozen transport of this very precious cargo is challenging and any errors resulting in the loss of the archive would have repercussions and additional costs and inconvenience for years to come!
• Following the virtual Technical meeting last week which was a great success we held our breed promotions virtual meeting this week with items such as Pinstone progress with our new marketing plans, publications, shows and sales and advertising strategy for the rest of the year.
• Going forward we have always had an office lead for the committees we are enhancing this function and more involvement of the office staff at committee level will be the result.
• More virtual meetings between council meetings have prompted this step and the aim is to keep business and progress of matters of Society more efficient.
• Further clarity has been established with our DNA provider on the accuracy of the results they issue to us on parentage and verification of Myostatin giving us the confidence of a very high success rate and a commitment of responsibility should an error be made.
• YDP team Zoom will be happening soon with the whole team having a chance to join and establish a plan for the rest of the year and next year after COVID restrictions are lifted.
• News of Export opportunities coming in are reaching my desk, again it would seem that these are from areas where we have restrictions on health grounds to serve the demand, but some markets are opening up again.
• There seems to be a groundswell of unrest surrounding the role of the AI companies and Aberdeen-Angus, I can inform you that this is on Councils agenda for discussion and when we get the current workload to a manageable point we will be working on this issue
• The above is a summary of what has happened over the last two weeks but by no means complete, the society is functioning well considering the challenges we currently face. We are aware of some issues that are being fielded on social media and being commented on we will address these in due course, and we ask for patience in the current working environment.
News & Notices from Office Manager Laura Stewart:
• The staff are all still working from home, the staff 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.
News & Notices from the Registrations Department:
• For Sire Verification to work properly, please ensure the bull has been DNA tested before you use him – this will speed up the calf DNA testing process.
• Please bear with us during this extremely busy time, as we are working as quickly as we can to process your Registrations. If you have any queries, please contact the registration team.
• Due to the fact we are all working from home we have noted a large increase in email requests for various matters. Please be assured we will get to your email however we may not respond straight away. We would appreciate your patience in this matter.
News & Notices from Pedigree Cattle Services:
• 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 (9th July) please send them in with plenty of time available pre the close off date.
• Breedplan Scanners: Breedplan Scanners are back on the road now. 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.
• 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 Irish Office:
• Cattle Enquiries:
The Irish Aberdeen-Angus Association has received several requests for Aberdeen-Angus cattle; please click here for full details and remember to contact Leo on 086 6384072 if you have cattle that may fulfil the request criteria:
• Bulls for sale:
The breeding season is well underway by now, but some members may still have a selection of Aberdeen-Angus bulls for sale; please click here for full details on the Aberdeen-Angus breeders in your area.
We hope you all have a great weekend and stay safe and well!