Digest 78


Amy Hughes, 2022/2023 BCBC Chair

Message from the Chair - 'Challenging Traditions'

 The call for debate, discussion and change was strong at this year’s 75th British Cattle Breeding conference, with the theme of “Challenging Traditions” well and truly living up to its name.

Delegates, sponsors and speakers all got stuck in and questioned our farming practices, values and above all, mindset with some brilliant discussions being had.

Calling on experience from at home and abroad, we were able to create a space that allowed people to really think about what they wanted from their businesses, what the market was asking from us and what global trends dictated. And the result was amazing. We were inspired, excited, moved and challenged throughout the three conference days, learning from each other and paving the way for breeding and genetics to advance change in our industry for the better.

We also focussed heavily on the concept of sustainability, appreciating that the true meaning of the word is in danger of becoming lost. There are three pillars to sustainability. Social, economic, and environmental and we heard from our amazing speakers, how they knitted the three together in a way that benefited both their businesses and the industry. Whether that be undertaking cutting edge genetic research or using appropriate breeding and management tools, they all had a firm grasp on what a sustainable agriculture industry should be and did a fantastic job in inspiring us all to take a look at the way we do things and make the relevant changes needed.

But above all, we focussed on mindset. Mindset that enables us to grasp opportunities, scientific and genetic advancements, and profitable management practices. After all, as one of our international speakers, Arron Nerbas, said “The answers are right in front of us if we choose to see them”.

As well as enjoying every one of our brilliant speakers, we also celebrated the 75th anniversary conference with a black-tie dinner and charity auction in aid of the Farming Community Network, raising £3,237. I’d like to thank everyone that donated items and to all those that put their hands in their pockets on the night.

Being Chair of the British Cattle Breeders club for the last year has brought nothing but joy and I am immensely proud of all that the club has achieved with the conference. We are a unique family of farmers, scientists and industry members, all dedicated to the advancement of genetics and breeding in Britain and above all, making the link between science and practice, so that the information can be used successfully on farm.

I would like to thank the club and committee for the opportunity to steer the 75th anniversary conference, it’s an experience I will never forget, and I wish our new Chairman, Ben Harman, all the luck in the world. I can’t wait to see what 2023/2024 brings for the club.

Amy Hughes

Photography Credit @ Jenny Wood Photography