Bi-Weekly Update – Friday 31st July 2020:
VERY IMPORTANT NOTICE TO THE MEMBERSHIP
CHANGES TO DNA PROCEDURES:
As you will be aware the society has recently implemented some changes to our DNA testing procedures. As of 1st June 2020, you should forward your samples directly to the society office.
6 King’s Place
We are in the final stages of switching all our DNA testing regime to one laboratory. Our aim is to streamline and speed up the process and ensure accuracy. We have also updated the programming software that we use to manage the DNA going forward.
The society has invested heavily in DNA testing over the last few years for the benefit of the breeders. The Society currently funds the testing for all male registered calves to be DNA profiled on the new SNPS platform. It has become apparent as we develop our systems and processes that in around 50% of cases, we request a test and we have had no sample submitted to perform that test on.
We need all members to implement the sample sending promptly to enable a sample to be accessed to be processed. To enable us to manage this testing it is vital that you submit your tissue samples to the office within 21 days of birth.
If we process a registration, submit a test request to the lab, and do not have a tissue sample on file we cannot subsequently go back and request a test at a later date. The new automated process relies on the sample being in storage before the registration is completed and the test request is actioned. If we do not have a tissue sample on file the request will not be actioned, therefore we assume you do not wish to take up the society’s offer of free testing of Male Registrations.
We are trying to improve our services and turnaround times to prevent delays in issuing pedigree certificates. There is only so far, we can go with this that is within our control, we need your help in achieving efficiencies.
Could you please ensure that you send your DNA samples to us on a very regular basis and within the 21 days if it’s one, twenty or one hundred samples it makes no difference, please pack them off to Pedigree house within 21 days of sampling and we will deal with them from there.
We appreciate your co-operation with this slight change in submission of samples.
Caroline, Fiona and Yvonne
Southern Autumn Sale of Pedigree Aberdeen-Angus – Worcester Livestock Market:
• Saturday 26th September 2020
• Entries close – FRIDAY 14th AUGUST 2020
• WORCESTER LIVESTOCK MARKET WR4 0SQ
• Due to Covid-19 regulations for this year only there will be NO SHOW.
• Entry is of course open to:- Cows, In-calf or with calf, Served Heifers, Maiden Heifers & Bulls
• Worcester advise one vendor per consignment and please respect social distancing requirements in force at time of sale.
• Contact Worcester Market for entry forms – 01905 769770
United Auctions – Sale of Pedigree Females:
• United Auctions, Stirling Agriculture Centre, Stirling, FK9 4RN 01786 473055
• Sale date – 12th September 2020
• Entries close – 7th August 2020
• ENTRY FORM
United Auctions – Stirling October Bull Sales:
• United Auctions, Stirling Agriculture Centre, Stirling, FK9 4RN 01786 473055
• Sale date – 18th – 20th October 2020
• Entries close – 14th August 2020
• ENTRY FORM
(Please ensure all bulls are DNA parentage & myostatin tested and herd health is up to date. Contact the Aberdeen-Angus Cattle Society Office for us to pull DNA for testing animals that you are entering into the sale as we may require to send you a DNA and Myostatin Sample kit for cattle entered. NO results – NO sale.)
To all YDP Participants –
We are looking for each of our YDP participants to take over the YDP Instagram page @aberdeenangusydp for a week over the summer and into the autumn months.
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.
Godfrey Neal Young Stockman Annual Bursary
An amazing opportunity if you would like to develop your career as a stockman through the Godfrey Neal Young Stockman Annual Bursary. Please find details of how you can apply below:
Previous intent of award (Godfrey Neal Travel Award)
This award was previously intended to provide a contribution to the travel costs of young stockman who had expressed an interest in travelling abroad to further their knowledge of the Aberdeen-Angus breed. It is now intended to broaden the previous intent of this award to contribute to the costs of training related to a career as a cattle stockman.
Godfrey Neal Young Stockman Annual Bursary
An annual sum in the range £200 – £500 will be made available to a young person who has expressed an interest in training to become a stockman. All suitable and related courses will be considered such as:
• Travel to a country with a background and history of breeding beef cattle.
• AI cattle courses.
• Foot trimming courses.
• Stockman skills.
• Trailer tests.
The above courses are intended to give an indication and are not limited to these.
Candidates should apply by email or writing to: Aberdeen-Angus Cattle Society, Pedigree House, 6 Kings Place, Perth, Scotland PH2 8AD or [email protected] (titled – The Godfrey Neal Young Stockman Award) outlining their proposal and how they would use the funds. The applications should be submitted by Friday 14th August 2020. The sum will be awarded end of August 2020.
Rules to apply:
• Candidates should be in the age range of 16-24 years old.
• The funds must be spent on the furtherance of their career in livestock farming.
• A background in a broad range of beef breeds would be considered.
• The candidate would be expected to provide a report or make a brief presentation on what they gained from the award and whether there were other topics of livestock training that would benefit from being included in the scope of the award.
On the 6th – 7th August #Farm24 is back for 24 hours. The Farmers Guardian will be celebrating all things farming and food production.
We will be taking part over our three social media platforms but for you to get involved and show your support please click here to request your pledge card.
Remember to tag us and the Farmers Guardian, we look forward to seeing your pictures and videos.
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]
Caroline Ford, Registrations, Sales (01738 448341) – [email protected]
Fiona Flood, Registrations, New member enquiries (01738 448342) – [email protected]
Yvonne Buchanan, Registrations, Merchandise (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]
News & Notices from CEO, Barrie Turner:
• It was announced by the First Minister Nicola Sturgeon yesterday that non essential offices should remain closed and working from home remains a default until the 11th September at the earliest.
• We have a lot of work to do on the workstations at Pedigree house before we can return to work. Things have been put in place in preparation for the return to office working over the last few weeks.
• The office remains closed but we have increased the staff presence to one person every day coming in to deal with the post and things that needs to be dealt with and hopefully keep on top of the piles of “wee messages” a bit better.
• The screens arrived this week and will be installed over the weekend onto the desks in Pedigree cattle services office and the registration department.
• Protocols for the staff arriving at the office are now in place in the hallway and wherever possible we will be maintaining two meters social distancing for the foreseeable future.
• We will not be accepting any visitors to pedigree house again for the foreseeable future.
• All these measures are to ensure that we do all we can to prevent ourselves being in a position where COVID 19 can come into the office and mean a total closure undoing the investment that we have made to date in preventative measures.
• We continue to fine tune the standard DNA module and the upgraded ILR2 programme which has been quite a journey and has hampered our efforts in many ways to tackle the backlog of registrations that we have.
• Please be assured that your registrations are in the system and will be dealt with at the latest report the registrations team were working on batches submitted 9 weeks ago which we are working hard to reduce as quickly as we can.
• Need to thank Caroline, Fiona and Yvonne for their input and being dragged into zoom meetings away from their normal routine for hours over the last few weeks.
• No sooner do you think that a system has been sorted and it changes, The EU have changed the Zootechnical certificates which will require some software alterations by ABRI to amend the new pedigree certificates.
• A whole revisit to the certificates for Semen and Embryos for export, please if you are exporting or importing semen or embryos please ensure that the correct certification is completed by vendor or we cannot register any subsequent calves.
• The new forms will be available as templates on the website to send abroad to the genetics companies to complete in every case.
• Intrepid adventurer and JVP Angus Stovold on his way on the cycle ride from Lands end to John O’Groats called into the office on his way through Perth for a pit stop a social distanced lunch and a puncture repair saw him on the way of the next 280 miles of his journey!
• Angus has not done this trip for any reason but he did say that if anyone wanted to make a donation to the YDP in recognition of his efforts he would be very glad to have helped!
• I have been in constant contact with UA to keep track of what the format might be for October sale, they are waiting to see what numbers are entered before deciding on the format.
• Guidelines are constantly changing and the LAAA are pressing hard for revised pedigree sale conditions as soon the closing date will be strictly enforced and no late entries for the sale will be accepted. Just a reminder the October Sale at UA is performance recorded cattle only.
• We continue to develop our strategy with the Sire verified Beef scheme with Identigen and zoom is helping us greatly with that working jointly with their marketing team and Pinstone advances are being made.
• Our marketing strategy with Pinstone develops and we have started to issue editorial backed with case studies illustrating the benefits of using Aberdeen-Angus genetics in your enterprise.
• Many thanks to Jim Fowlie for his input into the latest article that will be published soon and reflects Jim’s faith in the breed that has served him well over the years.
• The Godfrey Neale Bursary awards applications have started to arrive so don’t delay send your application today to [email protected]
• The Welsh calf market support has had a further addition to the Scheme with Ruthin Farmers Market in North wales running a 10 week sponsored deal on Aberdeen-Angus calves.
• Figures released this week about the BCMS figures in Wales showing an 11.7% increase over last year so our exposure through John James and family at shows over the last two years is paying off.
• I have received several calls and emails from members feeling a little unhappy about the request for DNA samples earlier. To be clear this is just an “ask” for assistance it is not a rule and there are no financial penalties attached to not being able to do this.
• Continue to work on assembling the DNA profiles of bulls at AI to help us validated the Sire Verified database with the help of the companies concerned.
• Angela Cumming has spent two weeks processing and accounting for the AI brokerage scheme that collects royalties on behalf of breeders an onerous task as I have had more insight into this but well done to her for balancing the books.
• I have had a couple of enquiries from members of Breedplan that they are concerned at perhaps loosing their gold star accreditation because of Covid-19 restrictions on the scanners. We are looking into this and hopefully the circumstances will not affect the status, updates to follow.
• We have a new addition to the accessories which at the moment is very necessary as soon as I have a delivery date and availability we will let you know!
• Zoom meetings are the new normal and I am spending a great deal of time now talking to my laptop! It is however a great tool that we have been forced to use but the benefits of this are very clearly worthwhile.
• The next two weeks sees the Committees meeting on Zoom and the Council meeting scheduled for the 13th of August all on Zoom so a whole new way of working and adaption is required to the way that we do things to continue the business as near normal as we can.
• The preparation for that to make it effective will be the priority over the next two weeks and hopefully a brief update in the next Bi-Weekly for you all.
• This is by no means all the business that we are handling at Pedigree house there is much more that myself and the team have to deal with on a day to day basis some things under current restrictions are taking a little longer than they would normally.
• We hope that you are all managing to stay safe and healthy at this time and we look forward to the resumption of things a little later on this year to being a bit more normal and we can meet up at the regular functions for a chat.
News & Notices from the Office Manager, Laura Stewart:
The next Council meeting is arranged for 13th August via Zoom and all relevant papers have been issued to Council members. Committee meetings are being arranged via Zoom to take place prior to the full Council.
Any member wishing to raise any points with Council should do so through their local Council representative as soon as possible. Please click here to visit our website Council contact page to find your representative’s contact details.
News & Notices from the Accounts Department:
PEDIGREE CATTLE SERVICES
● Pedigree Cattle Services year end is on the 31st July 2020. If you have any outstanding invoices on your account, prompt payment would be very much appreciated.
ABERDEEN-ANGUS CATTLE SOCIETY
● FINAL REMINDER
ANNUAL SUBSCRIPTION JANUARY 2020
If you have not yet paid your annual membership can you please do so by return as this was due on the 1st January 2020. If we do not receive payment by the 31st July 2020, we will presume that you no longer wish to be members.
● INTERNET PAYMENTS
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.
● 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:
Please remember to send your DNA samples to the office now as soon after calving as possible. As usual at this time of year we have a backlog of registrations waiting to be processed so please bear with us as we catch up.
Also remember to check that your stock bulls has been DNA tested before you use them – makes the registration of the calves much more straightforward.
Finally a reminder that Aberdeen-Angus calves are named after the family of the dam – consult the Family Naming guide by clicking here if you have any doubts.
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 (7th August) 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 Ireland Office:
In-Calf Heifers Wanted –
The Irish Aberdeen-Angus Association has received a request for pedigree in-calf Aberdeen-Angus heifers. For full details please click here
Virtual Online Show –
The Irish Shows Association will be running a virtual online show on Saturday, August 22nd. The online event offers a wide range of classes, including classes for pedigree cattle and all entries must be received by Tuesday, August 4th. For more details on how to enter and to view the full schedule, please click here
From us all at the Society have a great weekend and stay safe!