Bi-Weekly Update – Friday 2nd April 2021:
Irish Aberdeen-Angus Association – Announcement of the Appointment of a General Manager:
It is with great pleasure that the Irish Aberdeen-Angus Association is in a position to announce the appointment of a General Manager to oversee its operations and newly licenced Herd Book in the Republic of Ireland.
Dr Felicity McGrath Ph.D. BSc, who farms in partnership with her mother in Ballinasloe in County Galway brings with her a multitude of skills, a background in sales, business administration and management to mention just a few which will be essential as the new company embarks on its post Brexit journey.
Patricia, Felicity’s Mother, is a Dubliner who took enthusiastically to country life after she inherited her uncle’s farm some 20 years ago. When she took over the farm, there were plenty of challenges.
“The cattle were hard to handle. My uncle had kept a lot of crossbreeds that lived up to their name in being very cross! We weeded them out over time” she said. And following a brief sortie with a continental breed up to 2008, settled with Aberdeen-Angus and made them the future of their enterprise and regularly appear on the show circuit with their Gortnalon herd.
Felicity – who did a PhD in physics at Imperial College London, subsequently worked in the UK for six years, and returned to Ireland in 2018 and managed Athenry based agri business Bo Steel which manufactures and sells agricultural livestock equipment.
Felicity puts her physics expertise to good use on the farm, designing her own cattle weighing crate and cattle training pens. “I find physics great for problem-solving,” she said. This will, we are sure stand her in great stead with the job she has now in which taking a logical approach to resolve situations which she may come across will pay dividends.
In a previous life Felicity was involved in an international role and travelled extensively on a global scale on frequent long-haul flights, she just wanted to be home with the cattle adding, “I would sooner be up at 3:00am to watch a cow calving than sitting in a hotel room.”
She does not miss the airports, but this experience will stand her well again with the future development plans for the IAAA. John McEnroe, the current president of the Irish Aberdeen-Angus Association added,
“We are very confident that Felicity will bring a new dimension to the Association, her enthusiasm, experience and willingness to just get stuck in will be an asset to the members of the Association in the months and years to come”.
The appointment puts us on the map confirms the commitment that the Association must be a successful stand-alone breed Society and business after being under the wing of the Aberdeen-Angus Cattle Society in the UK for some 125 years.
Felicity starts with the Association on the 29th of March 2021 and will be working with Kathryn Bradshaw, the Council and the Presidential team to get up to speed as quickly as possible with the new business and looks forward to getting out and about when the restrictions allow to meet as many of the members and stake holders as possible.
President of the Irish Aberdeen-Angus Association.
Society Announcement: The Sad Passing of Geoff Lawn:
It is with great sadness that we have to report the passing of Geoff Lawn, Crook Rise Aberdeen-Angus herd.
Geoff was a member of the North East of England Aberdeen-Angus club and Society member.
Our deepest sympathies go out to the family at this sad time and a further more detailed tribute will be issued soon.
Melton Mowbray – Sale Report:
A small but quality offering of Aberdeen-Angus bulls saw a high of 3600gns at the Melton Mowbray Market, Multibreed sale on 27th March 2021. Four bulls found new homes to average £3,150 with a 66% clearance.
The sale was held under strict COVID-19 restrictions where all attendees wore face coverings and adhered to the 2m social distancing regulations. The sale included a parade and was streamed live via MartEye where online bidding facilities were available.
Top price on the day was a September 2019 born bull, Wensleydale Romeo V143 from Christopher D Timm. Romeo is a Blelack Ensign L796 (ET) son and out of a homebred cow Wensleydale Rosado R037. Romeo sold for 3600gns and was purchased by L J Stamper, Salome Lodge, Huntingdon.
Following closely behind was two bulls from D & P Evans, Tree Bridge Aberdeen-Angus which both sold for 3000gns. First up was Tree Bridge Eastleigh V762 a April 2019 born bull by homebred bull Tree Bridge Portsmouth S630 and out of homebred cow Tree Bridge Estella S600. Eastleigh was purchased by R C Turnbull, Foxfoot Hay Farm, York. Next up selling for 3000gns for David & Penny Evans was Tree Bridge Poplar V772 also a April 2019 born bull. Poplar is by Gear Firecracka V772 and out of homebred cow Tree Bridge Polly Pride R534, Poplar was purchased by M Light, Venn Barton, Devon.
Selling for 2400gns was Park Wall Empire W044 a 2020 February born bull from Mr B K & Mrs J C M Musk. Empire is by homebred bull Park Wall Pontius Pilate T004 (ET) and out of homebred cow Park Wall Emily T011. Empire was purchased by Chandler Farms, Melton Mowbray.
Upcoming Society Sales…
Southern Spring Show & Sale of Pedigree & Commercial Aberdeen-Angus Cattle:
Worcester Livestock Market, Nunnery Way, Worcester WR4 0SQ
Saturday 3rd April 2021
Contact Worcester Market for more information – 01905 769770
Dungannon Aberdeen-Angus Sale:
Dungannon Farmers Mart, 90 Granvillie Road, Dungannon, Co.Tyrone, BT70 1NJ
Tuesday 20th April 2021
Contact Dungannon Mart for more information – 028 8772 2727
Stirling May Bull Sale:
United Auctions, Stirling Agriculture Centre, Stirling, FK9 4RN
Sunday 2nd – Monday 3rd May 2021
Contact United Auctions for more information – 01786 473055
H&H, Carlisle May Sale:
Borderway Mart Rosehill, Carlisle, CA1 2RS
Saturday 22nd May 2021
Catalogue available soon
Sale Animal Photos:
If anyone has any photos of animals they have going forward to upcoming Society sales, please send them to Amy for advertising on our website and Facebook page – [email protected]
ABERDEEN-ANGUS CATTLE SOCIETY – 2021 BREED AWARDS:
This week we sent out an email to all summer show secretary’s (please check junk boxes). See copy of email below…
Dear Show Secretary,
I hope you are well!
Due to COVID-19 with some shows already being cancelled we have decided this year to not supply the shows with a CHAMPION SASH as we are not always aware of which shows are going ahead and which ones are not going ahead this year.
For this year if your show is going ahead can you please use the CHAMPION rosette that we supplied last year, if you no longer have the CHAMPION rosette from last year please let me know and we can get one sent to you.
Please also remember to update your show schedules about the Society only supplying a CHAMPION rosette.
If your show is not going ahead this year, can you please drop me an email to let me know so I can update our show spreadsheet. Email – [email protected]
For 2022 we will be back to normal with the usual Aberdeen-Angus breed awards of a CHAMPION sash and CHAMPION rosette.
We hope you understand, and we look forward to a busy summer show season in 2022!
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).
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 (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:
- Again two weeks since the last update has flown by and I look and wonder what I have done. The Bi-Weekly helps to focus this and summarise achievements.
- The covid-19 situation in Scotland remains unchanged with no office reopening until the end of June at the earliest but we continually review this as home working is now becoming a burden especially as we hit the peak times.
- The first anniversary of the recognition of covid-19 as a pandemic is now upon us and the first lockdown changed things and we coped for a few weeks as that was what we thought it would be – how wrong we were.
- I do not believe this is over yet and we will see further lifting and easing of restrictions ne variants for a long time to come.
- This however is the time of year when self-isolation on farms is a mere hazard of employment as the calving and lambing season along with spring tractor work gathers pace!
- A high note for the staff this last period was Barbara Webster having a “BIG” birthday reaching her retirement age. Grateful to her for staying on and seeing us through a difficult period.
- Every high note seems to be balanced out with a low note and unfortunately Amy Johnstone has decided that she needs to move on and further develop her skills and career a bit closer to home we wish her well with that.
- This means a further re fashioning of the staff especially in registrations to strengthen the resources in there to deal with all that needs to be dealt with. Thanks to Fiona and Caroline for their efforts which at times is a thankless task made more difficult by working remotely.
- I keep reminding everyone that we cannot deliver a normal service now and even the phone system which is very busy is struggling to cope. Please if you can email requests to registrations if possible.
- Recruitment for the Breed Development Manager applications has closed, and interview process has been developed which is an urgent job after the AGM has been held.
- It all seems to have been about recruitment over the last period – General Manager in Ireland mission accomplished!
- It is with great pleasure that the Irish Aberdeen-Angus Association can announce the appointment of a General Manager to oversee its operations and newly licenced Herd Book in the Republic of Ireland.
- Felicity has launched herself into the role with great enthusiasm and is taking a grasp of everything that is outstanding and hopefully the CEO can start to ease back his input into the ROI.
- The final plans for our enforced divorce settlement are being drawn up and should be delivered within the next two weeks giving the association autonomy, but alignment with the Society and herd book in Scotland.
- Preparation for the virtual AGM delayed owing to covid-19 restrictions affecting the delivery and approval of the accounts is very challenging.
- Laura Stewart and I are very much hoping that this is a one-off exercise and never to be repeated!
- We are in sale season, Melton Mowbray last week, Worcester this week and the Carlisle and Stirling May sales to come. This creates another big raft of work across the staff in Pedigree house thanks to everyone in the office for their efforts.
- Thanks to Chris Wilkinson and Angus Stovold for attending the first two on behalf of the Society.
- Two matters on sales have been brought to my attention firstly, BVD vaccines are not licenced for bulls and therefore our rules need to be changed and secondly – EVERY animal at a Society sale needs an individual health card.
- Both matters will be discussed at the health committee meeting on the first opportunity we get to meet.
- Pinstone and the Breed Promotions team have been busy working through and developing further plans to market on our four pillars.
- The next edition of the NBA magazine is due out and we have got some excellent coverage in that this time, editorial in Farmers weekly and Farmers Guardian as well as a piece being worked on with the Grocer.
- There was an NBA Pedigree Breeds committee meeting which was attended, and many matters discussed, the organisation seems to be far more effective lately under the new CEO Neil Shand.
- I have spent a great deal of time over the last period on the retagging issue of animals from the UK into the EU. A highly unnecessary task that will mean a great deal of adjustments for pedigree performance recording and health records just to mention two.
- Associated with this is also the development of Border Control Points to enable exports of livestock some progress is being made and the possible reintroduction of show licences for cattle from NI and the ROI attending shows and sales on the mainland.
- Great deal of discussions going on around DNA and registrations and the integration and bringing up to speed of the registrations sub committee initiated by our incoming president and chaired by council member Ian Watson.
- The introduction and subsequent changes that we have made to the DNA process have made it a very labour-intensive process even down to our collation of the samples at Pedigree house – busy season is upon us, 00s of sample arriving daily!
- Embryo calves continue to be a bit of a burden as to register these calves they need to be parent verified, to do that we need a profile of he sires and the dam of the Embryo.
- Imported Embryo’s are particularly difficult to deal with and we need the member to contact their supplier and obtain these profiles for sire and dam and have these before the calf needs to be registered preventing hold ups in the system and frustration in all quarters.
- It was a great pleasure to be invited to attend the SE England AA club AGM held virtually last Friday everyone is getting a bit stir crazy now and that was very apparent. Thanks to you all for giving me the opportunity to update you on all matters Society.
- Maternal index work continues as well as further assessment of the upgrade being touted by ABRI as a huge improvement to the Registrations system. Thanks to all those involved in that.
- Highland show is organising a behind closed doors show of sorts – no details yet as far as I am aware, and exhibitors are currently being consulted so watch this space.
- The Great Yorkshire is planning to go ahead with a 4 day show where beef breeds will be the second half of the show days. Nothing concrete yet but that will have crowds in attendance again not sure if that will be limited.
- Zoom boom continues with so many meetings now it’s difficult to get any work done which all the meetings raise!
- Meetings with Cogent and Genus again to establish some better ways of working together to our mutual benefit and fed back to the committee prompting another Zoom!
- Final negotiations to see if we can save a little on our annual insurance premium.
- Many thanks to so many of you who have enquired about my recovery from hip replacement all seems to be well just struggling to bend to put socks on and not too much detail but still need the “raiser” on the toilet seat!!
- All things being equal I hope to return to the office by the end of this month at the latest but may need to be earlier.
The next fortnight will see,
- The AGM was held virtually this week and the next week or two will be sorting out the committees and council as per the wishes of our new President David Ismail.
- A doodle poll has been put out by the president on two suggested coopetes from Scotland South and England and Wales North.
- Planning first Committee meetings and then Council which is now overdue.
- Interview process for Breed Development Manager, job description for strengthening registrations team.
- Some further meetings with our partners in the beef world developing the sire verification project.
- Complete the Society obligations to the Irish Aberdeen-Angus Association.
- Keep reviewing and updating plans for the May sales adjusting and attending as necessary.
- AI Sub committee review.
- Attend with the Senior Vice President a checks board meeting for feedback on a submission made over a year ago.
This is but a small snippet of the business that we deal with on behalf of our members and stake holders and as always, we wish you and your families a safe passage through the pandemic that is still with us affecting our everyday businesses over one year on.
News & Notices from the Accounts Department:
- If you have any outstanding invoices, prompt payment would be very much appreciated.
2021 ANNUAL MEMBERSHIP
- A kindly reminder that membership for 2021 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.
RECEIVING SOCIETY INVOICES BY EMAIL
- 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:
Happy Easter from the Registrations Department. We are working to process registrations as fast as we can but please bear with us as we are just two now as we are both working from home.
Please send DNA tissue samples to the office in a padded envelope marked DNA and with a LARGE LETTER FIRST CLASS STAMP. Samples in ordinary envelopes get lost in the postal sorting system. Incorrect postage means the Society has to pay a surcharge for every envelope and it delays the delivery.
We are working to identify all the stock bulls who only have a Microsatellite DNA result. So if we send you a kit to take a hair sample please return this as soon as you can. We will test this sample again to get a 50K SNPS profile of the bull which we will need for Sire Verification. Microsatellite testing will be phased out at the end of this year.
Please also check that the bull you are using has been DNA tested. We still come across bulls that are not tested when we are processing registrations. This slows up the process – we have to wait for your bull to be tested before we can then run the free test for the male calves.
News & Notices from Pedigree Cattle Services:
Stirling May Sale 2021 – weight for age table…
The Carlisle weight for age table will be available soon.
If you have any questions regarding the weight for age at Society sales then please contact Barbara – [email protected]
News & Notices from the Ireland Office:
Carrick-On-Shannon April Sale
A sale of pedigree Aberdeen-Angus bulls and heifers will take place at The Showgrounds, Carrick-On-Shannon, Co. Leitrim on Saturday, April 3rd at 12.30pm. All purchasers must register with LSL in advance of the sale and for further details, please contact the mart directly on 086 3883112.
Kilkenny Sale Report
The first of the Kilkenny bull sales took place last week with both the clearance and average price up from the same sale last year, with a top price of €4600 recorded on the day too. For a full report of the sale, please click here
From us all at the Society we wish you a happy Easter weekend and stay safe!