2009 Young Members Report

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By Varrie Dyet

Well a new year has been and gone and what a year it has been. Everything started back at the AGM in February at Perth where I took over the reins from Steph. Some things take getting used to and being put in the deep end I quickly found my feet as Chairperson. Gayle Houliston was appointed Vice Chairperson and Emma stayed on as Secretary. I would like to thank both of them and Steph for their support throughout the year.

Across the Country our Regional Clubs held their annual stockjudging competitions and training's for the last ever stockjudging at The Royal Show. It was so good to see so many young members taking part it was great to put faces with the names that I had been given. The Competition was once again held in conjunction with the British Blue and British Blonde Cattle Societies. Congratulations must go to all the prize winners and thank you to everyone for taking part. I would like to thank our sponsors for their continued support and without whose donations these competitions could not take place. I would also like to take this opportunity to thank our Judges, Stewards, Scorers and Time Keepers and all the office staff who gave up their time to help with the competitions at the Royal Shows and The Perth Bull Sales.

The Young Stock Person of the year was well contested and thank you to all the Sponsors and Judges for their time and support, congratulations to all the winners. I would also like to congratulate all those Young Members who have had success in both the show and sale ring. It is fantastic to see so many our Young Members being involved.

We also had 6 representatives over in Canada for the Agribiton Trip where they had to write a letter on why they should be picked to go. Thanks must go to Roger Birch for organizing the trip.

The World Congress takes place in Australia in September 2010 where Gayle and myself will be representing the Young members which I am very excited about.

Many thanks must go to Society Council, Claire, Fiona and all the office staff for their continued help, support and encouragement. Also thank you to all those Young Members who have been involved this year and we look forward to your continued support next year.

Young Member’s Stock Judging results Royal Show 2009

Individual Over 21 1st Robert Pearce – Centre West Club 2nd Edward Hunt – Centre West Club 3rd Menna Davis – Welsh Club

Individual Under 21 Joint 1st: Angharad Francis & Rhys Francis – Welsh Club 2nd: Claire Strathern – Scottish Club 3rd: Harriet Wilson – Midlands Club

Team. Under 21 1st: Angharad & Rhys Francis – Welsh Club 2nd: Harriet Wilson & Millie Hendy – Midlands Club 3rd: Jenny Bennett & Felicity Hill – Midlands Club

Team. Over 21 1st: Robert Pearce & Darren Jones – Centre West Club 2nd: Thomas Hamilton & William Ferguson – Irish Club 3rd: Emma Ogden & Emma Blomfield – South East Club

Winner of the Junior Stock judging 16 Years and under Rhys Francis – Welsh Club

Reasons Winner Over 21 Gayle Houliston – Scottish Club

Reasons Winner Under 21 Alastair Jackson – Scottish Club

Reserve Overall, Overall Winner: Robert Pearce – Centre West Club

The New Trend Trophy sponsored by Evans, Birch & Barber for Overall Winner of the Stock Juding Competition

Robert Pearce Senior Individual Over 21 Winner Centre West Club with Stephanie Denny Sponsor Farmers Guardian

Rhys & Angharad Francis Joint First Prize Winners Under 21 Indivduals from the Welsh Club with David Donnelly Sponsor Preserva Midlands & Atlow Simmentals

Winning Team Under 21 Welsh Club Rhys & Angharad Francis with Jimmy Wood Sponsor Popes Simmentals

Gayle Houliston receiving First Prize for Best Reasons Over 21 from master Judge Richard Rodgers Hiltonstown Simmentals

Marion Harris presenting Robert Pearce the Bill Boulton Goblets on behalf of Mr & Mrs Bill Boulton & the Shield for Senior Indivdual to Robert Pearce Centre West Club

Fiona Sloan Breed Development Manager Presents Rhys & Angharad Francis with the Bert Borlase trophy For Winning the Junior Individual Under 21

2008 Young Members Report

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By Stephanie Birch

As 2008 is coming to a close it is time for an update of what the young members have been doing throughout the year.

We started with the AGM held at Perth in February, when a new Vice Chairman was appointed in Varrie Dyet and Emma Railton was appointed as Secretary. I would firstly like to thank Varrie and Emma for their support throughout the year.

It has been a busy year for the young members as we hosted the second Youth forum as part of the 17th Simmental World Congress. It was an honour and privilege to be Chairman of the young members association during this event. Many life long friends where made from both home and abroad.

Sponsors Schering – Plough Resflor – David Meakin Farmers Guardian – Stephanie Denny Allflex – Chris Melluish Welsh Simmental Club

Across the Country Regional Clubs held their annual Stock Judging competitions whilst preparing for the Royal Show and for the World Congress competition held at Sacombe by kind permission of the Borlase family.

Junior Stockjudging Royal Show 2008Individual Over 21 – Senior 1st - Arwel Jones 2nd - Emma Ogden 3rd - Gail ClarkIndividual Under 21 – Junior 1st - Luke Blomfield 2nd - Boomer Birch 3rd - Rhys FrancisWinner of the Junior Stockjudging 16 years and under Rhys FrancisReasons O21 Emma OgdenReasons U21 Boomer Birch

Team O21 1st - Midlands – Rob Fitton/Richard Green 2nd - Northern Ireland – Thomas Hamilton/William Ferguson 3rd - Scotland – Gail Clark/Gayle Houliston

Team U21 1st - South East – Emma & Luke Blomfield 2nd - Wales – Angharad & Rhys Francis 3rd - North East – Sarah & Fran Pick

Overall, Overall Winner - Boomer Birch, Midlands Club, British Simmental Cattle Society

This year’s Royal Show was badly effected by the Blue Tongue restrictions however, despite the limited number of cattle it was extremely encouraging to see so many young members forward to take part. The competition was again run in conjunction with the British Blue and British Blonde Cattle Societies. Congratulations to all the prize winners and thank you to everyone for taking part. I would like to thank our sponsors for their continued support and without whose donations this competition could not take place.

I would also like to take this opportunity to thank our Judges, Stewards, Scorers and Time Keepers and all the office staff who gave up their time to help with the competitions at the Royal Shows, both the Perth Bull Sales and throughout the World Congress.

The Young Stock Person of the year was well contested and thank you to all the Sponsors and Judges for their time and support, congratulations to all the winners.

I would also like to congratulate all those Young Members who have had success in both the show and sale ring. It is great to see our Young Members being involved.

Many thanks must go to Society Council, Claire, Fiona and all the office staff for their continued help, support and encouragement. Also thank you to all those Young Members who have been involved this year and we look forward to your continued support next year.

Young Stock Person of the Year Awards 2008
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Gethin Davies, receiving the Dyfed Trophy for Young Stockperson of the Year at The Royal Welsh Show, Pictured with Nadia Gwynne, Judge & Chairman of the Welsh Simmental Club. The Dyfed Trophy is kindly sponsored by Mr M O & Mrs L D Jones. Gillian Greenhill receives the Young Stockperson of the Year award kindly sponsored by J & J Green Corskie Simmentals at the Royal Highland Show.
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The N.I. Simmental Cattle Breeders Club Young Stockperson of the Year 2008 is Neil McIlwaine (Corrick), Newtownstewart, Co. Tyrone. Neil is pictured receiving the Young Stockperson Shield from Lorna Forde (Judge) at Enniskillen Show. Looking on is Club Secretary, Robin Boyd. Rebecca Hicks, Young Stockperson of the Year at the Royal Show who is awarded the Forsdale Trophy, sponsored by Chris and Kath Martindale.
douglas_smith Left: Douglas Smith recieving the Young Stockperson of the year award at Perth bull sales in February 08, kindly sponsored by Pasturefields Simmentals, R M Birch.
Stockjudging Royal Show 2008
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Terry Ford, Master Judge, giving his reasons for placing the cattle.Individual Over 21 – Senior 1st - Arwel Jones 2nd - Emma Ogden 3rd - Gail Clark

Individual Under 21 – Junior 1st - Luke Blomfield 2nd - Boomer Birch 3rd - Rhys Francis

Winner of the Junior Stockjudging 16 years and under Rhys Francis

Reasons O21 Emma Ogden

Reasons U21 Boomer BirchTeam O21 1st - Midlands – Rob Fitton & Richard Green 2nd - Northern Ireland – Thomas Hamilton & William Ferguson 3rd - Scotland – Gail Clark & Gayle Houliston

Team U21 1st - South East – Emma & Luke Blomfield 2nd - Wales – Angharad & Rhys Francis 3rd - North East – Sarah & Fran Pick

Overall, Overall Winner Boomer Birch, Midlands Club, British Simmental Cattle Society

Senior Individual Competition

1st 2nd 3rd
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Arwel Jones, Welsh Club, receives the Bill Boulton Goblets from Bill Boulton and the 1st prize award for Senior Individual Emma Ogden, South East Club, receiving 2nd prize for Senior Individual from Dave Meakin, sponsor Schering-Plough Resflor. Gail Clark, Scottish Club, receiving 3rd Prize award from Dave Meakin sponsor Schering-Plough Resflor.

Senior Teams Competition

1st 2nd 3rd
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MIDLANDS TEAM Rob Fitton and Richard Green receive 1st Prize from Judge Terry Ford. Young Thomas Fitton proudly accepts his first rosette. NORTHERN IRELAND TEAM Thomas Hamilton and William Ferguson receive 2nd Prize from Terry Ford, Judge. SCOTTISH TEAM Gail Clark and Gayle Houliston receive 3rd Prize from Terry Ford, Judge - looking very pleased with himself!!

OVERALL - OVERALL WINNER

wynne_jenkins overall Boomer Birch, Midlands Club, receives the New Trend Overall Winners Trophy from the formidable Evans, Birch and Barber! Also pictured: both sponsors, Stephanie Denny, Farmers Guardian and Dave Meakin, Schering-Plough Resflor and Overall Judge Peter Donger
Judge: Wynn Jenkins

Junior Individual Competition

1st 2nd 3rd
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Luke Blomfield, South East Club, receives 1st Prize from Stephanie Denny, sponsor, Farmers Guardia Boomer Birch receives 2nd Prize from Stephanie Denny, sponsor, Farmers Guardian Rhys Francis receives 3rd Prize from Dave Meakin, sponsor, Schering- Plough Resflor

Junior Team Competition

1st 2nd 3rd
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SOUTH EAST TEAM Emma and Luke Blomfield receive 1st Prize from the Judge Wynn Jenkins WELSH TEAM Angharad and Rhys Francis receive 2nd Prize from Judge Wynn Jenkins NORTH EAST TEAM Wynn Jenkins looking like the ’cat that got the cream’ with these two lovely ladies, Fran and Sarah Pick!

Winners of the Reasons Competition

o21 Left: Emma Ogden, Over 21’s Reasons winner receiving 1st Prize from Stephanie Denny, sponsor, Farmers Guardian.Right: Under 21’s Reasons winner, Boomer Birch receiving 1st Prize from Dave Meakin, sponsor, Schering-Plough Resflor. boomer

 

 

2007 Young Members Report

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by Stephanie Birch

It was a great honour in February to be elected as the new Chairman of the S.Y.M.A. I would first like to thank the past Chairman, Rob Fitton, for all his hard work during his two year tenure. Thanks must also go to Anwen Jones for all her hard work and support as Secretary.

As 2007 is coming to a close it is time again to reflect on what the Young Members have been doing. We started the year with the AGM held at Perth in February, when a new Vice Chairman was appointed in Dafydd Jones and Gail Clark was appointed as Secretary.

Across the Country Regional Clubs held Stock Judging competitions whilst preparing for the Royal Show. This years competition was again run in conjunction with the British Blue and Blonde Cattle Societies. It was really encouraging to see so many Young Members taking part in the competition. Congratulations to all the prize winners and thank you to everyone for taking part.

Junior Stockjudging Royal Show 2007
Emma Ogden – 1st Over 21 Nina Blundell – 2nd Over 21 Caroline Greenhill – 3rd Over 21
Luke Blomfield & Daniel Thoms – 1st Under 21 (Joint) Harry Wood – 2nd Under 21 Emma Blomfield – 3rd Under 21
Daniel Thoms – Winner of Junior Stockjudging 16 years and under
Caroline & Gillian Greenhill – Joint Over 21 Reason winners
Angharad Francis – Under 21 Reason winner
Scotland Team – Caroline Greenhill & Gillian Greenhill – 1st as a TEAM OVER 21
Centre West – Maria Woodings & Nina Blundell – 2nd as a TEAM OVER 21
North West – Ron Loftus & Rob Heaps – 3rd as a TEAM OVER 21
Midlands Team – Hannah & Harry Wood & South East Team Luke & Emma Blomfield– 1st as a TEAM UNDER 21 (Joint)
South East Team – Craig Blomfield & Daniel Thoms – 2nd as a TEAM UNDER 21
Welsh – Rhys Francis & Angharad Francis – 3rd as a TEAM UNDER 21
Emma Ogden – Overall Winner Rhydian Davies – Reserve Overall Winner

A big congratulation must go to Emma Ogden for winning the overall New Trend Trophy. I would like to thank our sponsors for their continued support and without whose donations this competition could not take place; David Donnelly, Atlow Simmentals - £600, Allflex -£500 & Farmers Guardian - £500. All the sponsors have pledged support again next year and also for the Stock Judging to be held during the World Congress – Once again many thanks to you all.

I would also like to thank Penny Lally, who continuingly contributes to the Young members funds via the Sales of her Cattle Lines Poem Book, this book is still available from the Society office for £10.00 and each copy sold has £4.00 donated to our funds, thank you Penny.

I would like to take this opportunity to thank our Judges, Stewards, Scorers and Time Keepers and all the office staff who gave up their time to help with the competitions at all the Royal Shows and at both the Perth Bull Sales.

The Young Stock Person of the year was well contested and I would like to thank all the sponsors and judges for their time and support, congratulations to all the winners. I would like to commend all those Young Members who have had success in both the show and sale ring. It is great to see our Young Members being involved.

Luke Blomfield has been selected by Council to represent the B.S.C.S. at the 4H Stock Judging competition held at Agribition in Canada during November. Luke is being accompanied by two other Young Members, Emma Blomfield and Emma Ogden, who are travelling of their own accord. Their reports are included in the Review and I thank them all for representing the Society & the Breed so admirably.

Unfortunately our Show Season was cut short this year by the problems associated with Foot and Mouth and Bluetongue, however, I am sure when things return to normal the Young Members can get back into action.

Next year is going to be a big year for S.Y.M.A. as we will be hosting the 2nd Youth Forum as part of the 2008 World Congress. I am sure by now you have all seen the proposed itinerary and it will be great to see as many Young Members as possible joining in the activities. If any of you have any questions, ideas or suggestions or can help in any way please get in touch with me, Dafydd or Gail.

Many thanks must go to Society Council, Claire, Fiona and all the office staff for their continued help, support and encouragement. Also thank you to all those Young Members who have been involved this year and we look forward to your continued support next year. February 2008 will see our AGM held at the Perth Bull sales. All being well we will have the meeting after the Female sale on the Tuesday at approximately 4.30pm. I would like to welcome all young members to attend and contribute to the meeting and if there is anything in particular you would like to see on the Agenda, please contact myself, Dafydd or Gail prior to the meeting.

Christopher Weatherup receiving the Young Stockperson of the year award from Judge, Marion O’Connell and NI Club Chairman, Robert Forde at Enniskillen. The Trophy is kindly sponsored by the NI Simmental Club.

Neil McGeoch receiving the Young Stockperson of the year award, kindly sponsored by J & I Green, Corskie Simmentals, at The Royal Highland Show from Scottish Club Chairman Dorothy Moffat

Ashley McInnes recieving the Young Stockperson of the year award at the Royal Show from Judge Penny Lally and sponsor of the Forsdale Trophy, Chris Martindale.

Ashley McInnes receiving the Young Stockperson of the year award at Perth Bull sales in February from Judge Judy MacPherson. The trophy is kindly sponsored by Pasturefield Simmentals, R M Birch

Douglas Smith receiving the Young Stockperson of the Year award at Perth Bull Sales in November from sponsor David Leggat MBE, United Auctions.

Anwen Jones receiving the Dyfed Trophy for Young Stock Person of the Year at the Royal Welsh Show from Aneurien Francis, Chairman of the Welsh Club. The Dyfed Trophy is sponsored by M O & L D Jones.

2006 Young Members Report

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by Stephanie Birch

It doesn’t feel like 12 months ago that I was sat writing last year’s Young Members report, 2006 seems to have flown by.

The Young Member’s year started in April with a training weekend at Warwickshire College. There were several guest speakers who came along to talk to us about nutrition and the ABRI system and a discussion was also held with Dan Evans and Fiona Sloan about the Young Member’s ideas for the up and coming World Congress 2008. The afternoon was spent watching a very informative clipping and dressing demonstration, from which I think everybody took away something they could use in the future. In the evening we all went to Leamington Spa for Ten Pin Bowling which gave us a great opportunity to get to know other young members. A big thank you must go to all those who came to talk to us and to all those who helped organise and make the weekend possible.

Across the country many regional clubs held stock judging events preparing for the Royal Show and before we knew it the event was around again. This year’s competition was again run in conjunction with the Belgian Blue and Blonde Cattle Societies. May I thank our Judges, Stewards, Scorers, Timekeepers and all the office staff who gave up their time to help with the competition. Congratulations to all those who competed this year and won prizes.

At all the Royal Shows and at both of the Perth Bull sales the Young Stockperson of the year competitions were well contested. I would like to thank all the Sponsors and Judges for their time and support.

Congratulations must go to all the Young Members who have had success in both the show and sale rings this year it is great to see so many of you getting involved. The Welsh Club Young Handlers competition this year has been won by Angharad Jones.

The results of this year’s competitions are as follows:
Show Trophy Judge Winner
Perth Febuary The New Trend Trophy David Argo Rhona Macaskill
The Royal Highland The Corskie Trophy Hector Macaskill Nikki Hughes
The Royal The Forsdale Trophy David Bell Rob Heaps
The Royal Welsh The Dyfed Trophy Judith Cockerill Owain Davies
Perth October The United Auction Trophy David Barker Neil McIlwaine
Enniskillen The Northern Ireland Simmental Club Trophy Morag Smith William Ferguson

Royal Show Junior Stock Judging Competition Results 2006 SENIOR TEAM: 1st North West Rob Heaps & Ron Loftus 2nd Midlands Rob Fitton & Boomer Birch 3rd Scotland Gillian Greenhill & William Young

JUNIOR TEAM: 1st Wales Anwen Jones & Rhys Francis 2nd Wales Angharad Jones & Angharad Francis 3rd South East Emma & Luke Blomfield

SENIOR INDIVIDUAL: 1st North West & Centre West Rob Heaps & Nina Blundell 3rd Midlands Rob Fitton

JUNIOR INDIVIDUAL: 1st South East Luke Blomfield 2nd Centre West Vicki Hicks 3rd Wales Rhys Francis

SENIOR BEST REASONS: Scotland Gillian Greenhill

JUNIOR BEST REASONS: Midlands & Centre West Boomer Birch & Sarah Hunt

During the summer Caroline Greenhill and myself were asked to represent the Society on behalf of the Young Members at the Simmental World Congress in Calgary, Canada, a full report can be found in the Review.

I would like to take this opportunity to thank the Simmental Society, Council and everybody who made this trip of a lifetime possible. Many thanks must go to the Society Council and all the office staff for their continued help, support and encouragement, it is very much appreciated. Also thanks to those Young Members that have helped this year and we look forward to your continued support next year where there is much to look forward to and a World Congress to plan for.

Our AGM will be held at the Perth bull sales in February on Monday 19th February at 4.30pm. Please gather in the foyer after the Female sale and we can all go to the meeting room together. The AGM will be an opportunity to elect a new Chairman, Vice Chairman and Secretary, so if you would like to be more involved please come along and make sure you have someone to nominate you. This meeting will also be used to discuss the Young Member’s involvement at the World Congress 2008, please come prepared with ideas and suggestions for this event.

Canada Young Breeders Forum By Stephanie Birch - Vice Chairman SYMA

A new initiative was created for Young Simmental Breeders (age 18-25yrs) from around the world to come together and learn more about the global cattle industry, and the Simmental breed as a worldwide provider of quality genetics.

Included in the forum were various roundtable discussions covering issues such as nation specific challenges to the industry and the breed, global concerns for the industry, and information sharing about each individual youth programmes of the various Simmental Associations.

In addition to that, the Young Breeders had the chance to partake in the General Council Meetings of the World Simmental-Fleckvieh Congress, go on various cattle tours around Southern Alberta, and experience a Canadian Simmental Cattle show and sale.

The Council nominated Stephanie Birch & Caroline Greenhill from the SYMA to be our ambassadors at the Congress and we have it on excellent authority that both ladies carried out all their duties with great efficiency and did a sterling job of representing the Society, the SYMA and the breed.

We would like to take this opportunity of thanking them both for all their hard work.

This is just a quick report on one of the most fantastic experiences of my life. In July I was lucky enough to attend the Simmental World Congress in Calgary Canada.

July 11 (Day 1) On the first day I was picked up from the hotel and taken to Calgary University where we met all of the other delegates and registered for the week ahead. This time gave us the chance to get to know each other before starting the Congress activities.

July 12 (Day 2) Each morning was an early start for breakfast. We started the day with three speakers who came and told us how the young Canadian Simmental Association worked and how it had benefited them in their lives and gave us some ideas of what we could be doing in the future. In the afternoon we were split into groups consisting of a young member from each country, where we had a debate and prepared a presentation on the interesting question ‘What is a Simmental’? The evening took us to the Opening Ceremonies where the young members carried in the flags of the member countries of the federation. This gave us a great opportunity to meet the adult delegates from all over the world.

July 13 (Day 3) The morning was spent in the general meeting were we again had a chance to listen to some very interesting speakers. In the afternoon we gave the presentations that we had prepared the day before and discussed our opinions. We then went on a ranch tour where we saw a small number of cattle and had a lovely afternoon socialising on a hill with the main group. This also gave us our first opportunity to hear Fiona sing. At night we were taken for dinner in Calgary Tower - what an experience having dinner 500ft above the ground whilst revolving. The view was unbelievable!

July 14 (Day 4) The morning was spent watching the Simmental show, which gave us a great opportunity to get a really good look at the type of cows they have in Canada. In the afternoon we saw the Rodeo and the Chuck Wagon Racing with a fantastic grandstand show to finish the day.

Cattle on Show at the Canadian World Congress

July 15 (Day 5) The morning started with a grooming seminar, this was very interesting as the Canadians seemed to do most things a different way to ourselves. We then got to watch the Simmental sale, which again was very different to our sales. In the evening all the young members had tickets to the biggest night club in town.

Fiona Sloan with Caroline & Stephanie & Clarke (Caroline’s fiancé) World Congress 2006

July 16 (Day 6) On our final day as a group, the main activity for the day was white water rafting, which when it came to it, I actually chickened out! We all spent the afternoon at college learning to be cowboys and this again proved to be great fun particularly as I don’t have a great friendship with horses. The evening took us to the closing ceremonies where we were able to say our goodbyes to the people we had only met at the beginning of the week, but I am sure will be friends for life.

I would like to thank Council and the Society for giving myself and Caroline this once in a lifetime opportunity that we will never forget. We are now looking forward to being involved with the Congress in 2008 and setting up a top class itinerary for our visiting Young Members.

Young Members Forum

By Caroline Greenhill - Young Members Representative

At the end of June 06, having just returned home from a week at The Royal Highland Show we packed our bags and set off for 3 weeks in Canada. After spending 2 weeks travelling around the spectacular sights of Vancouver and The Rockies we arrived in Calgary ready to take part in the first Young Members forum as part of The World Congress 2006. It was an honour and a privilege to have been invited to represent Britain at this event and we both arrived with much enthusiasm and were looking forward to the week ahead with great excitement.

The first morning of the Young Members forum was based in a classroom and we had three excellent presentations from “Jason” of JB Livestock, Dr Egan Brockhoff and Myles Glazeman. During the presentations there was an air of enthusiasm and encouragement. I am sure every one of the junior delegates was able to leave with an idea of something they could try themselves. Jason spoke of his own experiences of breeding cattle and in his presentation highlighted the importance of making the most out of advertising with business cards, leaflets and photography - something which is clearly very successful in Canada. He also emphasised the importance of “people” within the cattle industry, highlighting the need to be able to talk confidently about your product, being knowledgeable re pedigrees and blood-lines being a valuable skill, but we have to be able to communicate this to potential customers. Networking with fellow breeders is a great way to learn skills and tricks of the trade and Jason emphasised the fun and friendship which develops amongst breeders along the way.

World Representatives with the Congress Banner.

There is a well developed and very active Young Breeders Programme in Canada and I’m sure, after listening to Dr Egan Brockhoff’s talk on how this has been developed in Canada, we can all strive to encourage the Young Members here in the U.K. He encouraged us to ensure we develop our own Constitution and Rules emphasising that each region is different and therefore we need to tailor a programme for each region, relying on “lead” people in each region, to get things going. Here in the U.K., geography can often be a barrier in getting “young members together”, a problem that has been successfully overcome in Canada by building upon existing infrastructure e.g. Royal Shows, Bull Sales and Winter Fairs.

Myles Glazeman from M & J Farms completed the presentations and highlighted a key phrase in developing a breeding programme “You need to know where you have been to see where you are going”. He encouraged young members to embrace challenge and to view the beef business as a whole to learn from advances and achievements in other areas.

In the afternoon, the junior delegates which included representation from various regions of Canada, America, Germany, Australia as well as ourselves, had a debate about the introduction of red and black lines and whether this has affected the identity of the Simmental. This was very interesting: Red and black genes have apparently been used to meet market demand but, personally, I feel many of the Simmental traits as we know them in the U.K. have been lost and the “Red and Black” have changed the “identity” of the Simmental breed. The Canadian breeders on the other hand feel they would not be able to sell the type of cattle we have in the UK (I took with me some photographs of our cattle and some editions of the Breeder and Feeder and The Scottish Farmer in order to let them see what our cattle look like).

As Young Members we were welcomed into the main Congress activities for the opening ceremonies and for the general meeting the following morning. It was great to see the Youth of to-day being welcomed and made such an important part of the formal proceedings resulting in an opportunity to mix with the other delegates.

On the 14th July we arrived at the Stampede Park to watch the Simmental Show. As the photographs demonstrate the cattle are very different to the cattle we know and love here in the UK. I went to Canada knowing that the cattle would be different but found they were radically different, apart from the obvious colour difference, the cattle were less powerful and lacked muscle and shape.

The judging was difficult to follow: the judges in Canada looking for different qualities in an animal compared with judging as we know it and they also place the cattle in order from last to first! The following day took us to the Simmental Sale which saw cattle selling for large sums of money. There were many embryos sold and several “pick of the heifer calves from a herd”. This means the buyer then visited the ranch to choose his heifer from a crop of calves! Also there were no senior heifers for sale…in Canada they are all calved before 2 years old.

Before attending the closing ceremonies on the final evening, we also attended a Cattle Grooming seminar, a white water rafting trip and an afternoon at a Rodeo college as well as tickets to the Calgary Stampede Rodeo and the Chuckwagon Races.

Attending the first Young Breeders Forum really was a “once-in-a-life-time” experience allowing us to meet with International delegates and to hear and see how Simmentals are bred for different purposes around the world.

We are very thankful to the organisers and sponsors in Canada for providing such a well organised, informative and enjoyable forum and we look forward to meeting again with many of the International delegates who are planning to attend the 2nd Young Breeders Forum in 2008 to be held in the UK.

Finally we would like to thank the British Simmental Cattle Society for providing us with the excellent opportunity of representing the UK in Calgary.

Gold at the Pinnacle Awards for Harper Adams University College Student

Abigail with a replica of her award

Abigail Solomon from Wiston, Pembrokeshire, and a final year student at Shropshire-based, Harper Adams University College has been presented with a Gold award at the prestigious Pinnacle Awards for Excellence in Business Management. Abigail, a BSc (Hons) Agriculture and Land and Farm Management student was announced as the Gold Award Winner at the 10th Annual Award Ceremony that took place at the Farmers Club, London on Friday 23rd April. She is the first female to win the Gold Award in the ten years of the competition.

Abigail and another Harper Adams Student, David Hope, was recommended and nominated by farm business management lecturer Tony Asson after completing a project whilst studying a module on Farm Diversification. The students at the UK’s leading provider of higher education for the rural and land-based industries were set the task of identifying diversification options for a local dairy farm at Hinstock. Both Abigail and David were short-listed to the final eight and were questioned by the judging panel for 25 minutes about their projects before presenting their business plans and initial research ideas to the judging panel, other short-listed students, college tutors, principals and sponsors.

The head of the judging panel, Professor John Prescott said that “Abigail’s project was an example of the innovative thinking that students entering agriculture needed to demonstrate. In an industry where there are considerable challenges to be faced, it is encouraging to see that students such as Abigail can identify practical opportunities for businesses to develop and enhance their profitability.”

Tony said “I was extremely impressed with the depth of market research into a number of potential diversification ideas in Abigail’s project from which she then selected to develop a range of traditional farm buildings into an on farm childrens nursery.”

Harper Adams University College Principal, Professor Wynne Jones said “We are extremely proud of Abigail’s winning achievement. Her commitment and ability will set her in very good stead towards her future career.” He continues “Leaders in the agricultural and land-based industries should be very pleased that such high quality young people are leaving higher education and are seeking opportunities to take the industry, that is seeing major change and challenges, forward. The awards are also yet another example that demonstrates students from the University College are the best in the field.

The national awards, which are sponsored by The Farmers Club, ADAS and the  Cave Foundation and supported by the Guild of Agricultural Journalists, set a unique  challenge for students to demonstrate their potential. Competitors had to demonstrate sound business management skills which are essential for securing a successful future in the rural economy.

Abigail, the Gold Award winner took centre stage when presented with the Nickerson Cup, commemorative certificate and prize winnings of £1,250. The Pinnacle Awards also awarded the University College a matching sum of money that each student won. It is hoped that this prize money will be used to create an award for students studying agriculture who submit a piece of outstanding work in the subject area of farm business management

Abigail said “I am overwhelmed to receive this award, and although the interview and the presentations were nerve racking, it makes it all worthwhile and it will definitely enhance my CV! We are hoping that the award to the College can be used to encourage and reward the students submitting farm business management assignments and projects in the future. It is encouraging to know that we are getting quality tuition at Harper and our thanks go to Tony for his support and encouragement throughout this module.” David Hope won the Bronze Award.