17 July 2018

It's been all hands to the pump at the Society with lots of ongoing activity over the last few weeks. With large parts of the country resembling desert regions and in desperate need of rain and the combines in the south up to North Yorkshire running, we are awaiting news on yield and quality which will determine feed forage and bedding costs for next year. Here is your bi-weekly round-up of all the need-to-know news from the Aberdeen-Angus Cattle Society.

Open Day at Longford Farms

The Open Day at Longford Farms in Salisbury on the 4th July attracted in excess of 150 attendees on the day, split we think 20% pedigree breeders and 80% commercial. We will be bringing a detailed report on the day early next week, but here is a round up of events in the meantime.

The opportunity to learn a bit more about the Aberdeen-Angus breed and the industry in general, plus to see the cattle on show at the successful Longford operation created great interaction and feedback. We have to thank the speakers on the day who took time out of their busy schedules to be there and provided such great knowledge and insight. Lord Radnor welcomed the open day and gave us a brief insight into the diverse business that is Longford Estates. NFU President Minette Batters, who said she enjoyed having a day close to home, herself being a tenant on Longford Estates, told us of her passion for a future in farming and that although there is change and uncertainty, there is also great opportunity, and as farmers and producers we need to prepare and have our businesses fit to deliver when needed.  

Keith Cutler of Endell Vet Group spoke on dealing with the main diseases associated with herd health and ultimately proficiency in tackling and eliminating them. The main advice was to not to become complacent and always do vaccines and treatments, tests and biosecurity to the best of our ability. Robert Huxley who is in charge of the cattle at Longford and all the team deserve a huge vote of thanks for facilitating the day, without whom it wouldn’t have been possible. Robert headed up trailer loads of interested cattle breeders, showing them the fields of cattle on the open hills and how adaptable and commercial the breed is. Some of the bulls were out working and impressed with shape and size. There were many questions asked which shows genuine interest with some participants asking if they can return in winter to see how the outwintering works.

A good bit of fun was had in the stock judging with the added increment of assessing which animal would have the most marbling, biggest rib eye area and fat. The president Angela McGregor was most disappointed as she ‘almost won’, but changed one answer on marbling when having a second look to put her second.  Moral of the story – don’t go back - first answer is most likely correct!! The winner was John Blackburn, who had a great score all round! We have Linda McKendrick and Barbara Webster to thank for the added interest of Breedplan and scanning on the day, highlighting the importance of recording and making people think about what the product they are producing is like. The day demonstrated the genuine interest in our breed and this hands-on approach exhibits the importance of open days which we hope will be a more regular feature on the Society calendar.  Work has already started on the programme for next year, so make sure to keep your eyes peeled over the coming months for details of the next one. 

Thanks go out to the team from the Council who worked with Andrew to make the open day possible in particular Andrew Shufflebotham and Paul Jeenes, but also Angela McGregor, Oliver Edwards, and Terry Ives. 

Email address changes

We have made the move to change a couple of contact email addresses within the Society. Firstly, for any DNA/Sire Verification questions or issues you might have, you can now contact the Society on dnarequest@aberdeen-angus.co.uk, allowing for these types of enquires to be collated and dealt with as efficiently as possible.

We are also looking to phase out the use of our info email address, so we would ask all members with general enquiries to please email office manager Laura Stewart directly on laura@aberdeen-angus.co.uk – many thank in advance for your co-operation.

DNA profiling for the Sire Verification programme – a reminder

Having now received the list of bulls that are attached to your particular membership, we’d like to take the opportunity to thanks everyone who has already taken action and got off the mark quickly – this is much appreciated!

As a reminder to the full membership, it is essential that we have the DNA profiles done for all active registered bull as a start point to the sire verification scheme that is paramount to us protecting our British Aberdeen-Angus brand and the premium that is associated with it. Now that all instructions have been distributed to members, please complete and return the forms to the Society as promptly as possible to allow for the process to run in the smoothest manner – we thank you all in advance for your continued co-operation.

Remember it is free to test registered bulls destined for commercial herds born 2015 and 2016 on low density SNPs and £25 for those you wish to keep for pedigree use. If you have any queries please contact registration on 01738 622477, or email the team on the office at our newly set-up email address: dnarequest@aberdeen-angus.co.uk. Remember, you may have already taken DNA samples so no need to take another – the Society will let you know if there are any problems.

The Great Yorkshire Show 2018

We brought you all the key action live from the 2018 Great Yorkshire Show, where judge Paul Westaway described the overall Aberdeen-Angus Champion as ‘’a great 5 year old bull with a great head, who walks incredibly well and is not over fat’’. The champion bull was Water End Payton N108 from R & C Rettie, while the reserve championship went to Shadwell Pam T941 from Shadwell Estates, who had previously been named the breed’s Female Champion.

You can view some of the photography and details from all of the Aberdeen-Angus classes on the day over on the Aberdeen-Angus website at: http://aberdeen-angus.co.uk/news/show-news/full-great-yorkshire-show-results-with-photography/.

Other show news

The annual Ulster Provincial Trophy was presented to the best pedigree Aberdeen-Angus in Ulster at Newry Show over the weekend. Judge for the event, Mr. Louis Byrne of the Tomriland Aberdeen-Angus herd, Tomriland, Annamoe, Bray, Co. Wicklow selected the yearling heifer Coolermoney Frances T703 from Adrian & Graeme Parke and Family, as this year’s recipient of the Ulster Trophy. Louis Byrne described the heifer as having a ‘’superb topline, great head, square throughout the body and excellent movement’’. Read more here: http://aberdeen-angus.co.uk/news/show-news/parke-family-claim-ulster-provincial-trophy/

Breed champion at the 178th annual Omagh Show was the home-bred Denamona Black Ida T264 exhibited by Moses Irwin, Fintona. Born in January 2017, she was sired by stock bull Glassel Del L886, and is out of Denamona Black Ida L722 – one of 60 cows in the herd. You can view more about the Omagh Show at: http://aberdeen-angus.co.uk/news/show-news/178th-omagh-show/

Life at Windy Gowl Red Angus

As part of the initiative to complete the circle and cover the whole breed, we are featuring a number of Red Aberdeen-Angus herds as we aim to of course remember that Aberdeen-Angus is not a totally black breed, and we’d like to offer some exposure to our red breeders too. To that end, we have been in contact with a highly respected Red Aberdeen-Angus herd run by mother and daughter team Jill Noble. Jill has provided us with an excellent and insightful account of her early work, background and current life at Windy Gowl, so please make sure to give it a read if you haven’t already: http://aberdeen-angus.co.uk/news/jill-noble-tells-us-all-about-life-at-windy-gowl-red-angus/.  

George Wareham – YDP profile

George Wareham is a regular participant with the YDP, he is an interesting character as he comes from “beyond the farm gate” as a butcher working on a farm with a farm shop and café. He understands meat and the carcasses that he needs for the shop and tailors the practices on the farm to deliver the quality of meat that keep the customers coming back for more, week in and week out. George wanted to learn more about the cattle side behind the farm gate, so joined up with the YDP to enable him to do so. There is nothing like a butcher’s eye view of an animal, as he can assess it from a different perspective in terms of the value of the carcass by the yield of meat from the primal when the carcass is broken down. There is less value in the “big backends” with the perceived demise of the “Sunday Roast”. Take a look at Georges thoughts on the YDP programme by clicking on the link: http://aberdeen-angus.co.uk/news/ydp-profile-george-wareham/.

2018 World Steak Challenge

There was some great success for the Aberdeen-Angus breed at the 2018 World Steak Challenge, where there was representation in the bronze, silver and gold medal categories, with the world's best grain-fed going to OSI International Holding GmbH of Germany for an Angus ribeye which was based on Aberdeen-Angus genetics. Donaumoos Angus in Germany also received a silver medal at the challenge. Martin Delle was the butcher, with his father Bernhard Delle having bred the heifer in Donaumoos Angus which makes this one a particularly nice family victory! Congratulations to all prize winners who should be very proud of their achievements. Read more about the World Steak Challenge and the full results at: http://aberdeen-angus.co.uk/news/world-steak-challenge-2/

This gives us a huge haul in recent competitions where Aberdeen-Angus has come out on top over big fields of entries. Rest assured, we will be using theses results in some shape or form to keep the Aberdeen-Angus name for quality at the top of the tree!

Merchandise

We’ve been delighted to see so many people taking an interest and purchasing some of the great Society merchandise we have on offer. This week, we’re concentrating on the range of Aberdeen-Angus ties we have on offer. What better way to support your breed than by taking the step to brand yourself up? Wear it with pride!

A A ties for friday update

All merchandise can be purchased by phoning up and paying by card, or we can simply add it to your account for your next invoice. View the full range of: http://www.aberdeen-angus.co.uk/assets/2018/Merchandise-poster-2018-web.pdf

Upcoming events in the next couple of weeks

-        14th July: The North East Scotland club will be present at the Echt Show

-        23rd – 26th July: Royal Welsh Show at Builth Wells – make sure to stop in and say hello!

Stock for sale

As always, we would encourage any members with stock they are looking to sell to please get in touch with us to arrange for this to be shared on the website. You can do so by phoning the office or by emailing laura@aberdeen-angus.co.uk and we’ll be more than happy to facilitate. To view the most recent stock for sale, head over to: http://aberdeen-angus.co.uk/news/stock-for-sale/

We hope you all have a good weekend, and to those of you who have an invested interest in a certain cup final – all the best!