The Central Scotland YDP Workshop took place on Saturday 12th August at Mosston Muir Farm, Forfar. One of the young enthusiasts present at the workshop was Fraser Dandie who is from Hatton of Carse, Forfar. Fraser was attending the YDP workshop for the first time and has kindly given us his account of the day at the farm:
Saturday 12th August 2017
‘’When we arrived on the farm, we were introduced to the farmer at Mosston Muir, Mr Alan Rennie, by the YDP organiser Gayle Bersey. We began the workshop by dividing into 4 small groups. My group started off in the cattle clipping demonstration where we were shown how to clip cattle and then we could give it a go ourselves. The young bull was held in the crush and we clipped its head, back and belly. This was my first time ever clipping an animal, and I found it interesting to see how just a small clip could change the whole size and shape of the animal. The whole face could be clipped except the ears and eyelashes down their jawline. This preparation would usually be done 2-3 weeks before a show or sale. The clip along the back is to make the cattle appear as level as possible, while clipping under the belly made the animal seem a lot longer and appeared to have less of a belly.
Following that, we moved on to the stock judging. There were 4 bulls stood in a line and we had to judge them based on length, shape, size and breed characteristics. We were then told what to look for with beef production in mind. We placed the cattle in the order we thought was correct, before providing reasons to our group as to why we had placed them as we had. After we had made our choice and given reasons, the judge told us the order he would place them in and explained the reason behind his decision. It was very interesting to hear what he based his judgement on and I will definitely think of this when I’m next stock judging.
The next task our group was faced with was washing the bulls. We soaked the bulls, then rubbed in soap and finally rinsed them again with water. We were then shown how to tie a halter to a gate and how to put on and take off a halter safely. I was then asked to lead a bull around the yard and then lined the cattle up for the next group to judge.
Our last task was cattle dressing. We were given a demonstration which started with spraying on a foam type substance and then combed it in. Next, we used a wax and then combed the cow again on one side. On the other side, we then used glue as an alternative and observed the difference. We then threw sawdust on the bull to show how it stuck to the glue but came off the waxed side. Additionally, we put finishing spray on the glued side and this made the sawdust come off easier although it didn’t shine as well as it did with the glue only.
In the middle of the day we had a break for lunch where we got pies and bridies kindly supplied by Mr Rennie. After lunch, we went on to an activity called stockmanship. This included walking cattle as if it was in a show and standing them correctly to best display the animals to a judge.
At the end of the day we lead all the cattle to the wash bay and washed them down and cleaned all the products off them. The Aberdeen-Angus Cattle Society president Mr Alex Sanger was present on the day, and he gave a vote of thanks to Mr Rennie and all the other helpers. Without all these people’s efforts, the day would not have been possible, so we are all really thankful.
I really enjoyed the day and I have learnt a lot from everyone that was there, and I will definitely look forward to going to another Aberdeen-Angus youth development day.
We would like to give an extended thank you to Fraser and all other participants who contributed to what was another great YDP workshop. Also, a big thank you to the trainers, without them the workshop wouldn’t have been such a success. Stay tuned for more updates from the remaining workshops this year!