Latest News
Introducing Andy King as the new BCBC Chair for 2024-2025
It is a great honour and privilege to have been elected chairman of the British Cattle Breeder’s Club for 2024-25. The year ahead is built on the outstanding and hugely successful conference that took place in January under the chairmanship of Ben Harman and the immensely hard-working and talented committee. I experience a mixture of ‘excitement’ and ‘apprehension’ as we navigate the conference p...
26th April 2024
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Tianhai Yan Awarded the 2024 Sir John Hammond Award for Outstanding Contributions in Animal Science
Belfast, 10th April - The British Society of Animal Science (BSAS) and the British Cattle Breeders Club (BCBC) proudly announce Dr. Tianhai Yan as the recipient of the prestigious 2024 Sir John Hammond Award. This esteemed award recognizes individuals who have made exceptional contributions to animal science through research, teaching, knowledge exchange, breeding, farming, industry, or affiliated...
16th April 2024
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Farmers must harness The Power of Data to improve efficiencies and lower farm emissions
Government policy should reward outcomes, not breed, and farmers must harness the power of data to improve efficiencies and lower farm emissions. These were two key messages from British Limousin Society Chief Executive Alice Swift at the British Cattle Breeders Club Conference in January. With over 60% of UK land unsuitable for growing crops she emphasised the important role suckler cows playe...
9th April 2024
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Mary Mead awarded Holstein UK's Lifetime Achievement Award 2023
It was with great pleasure that the British Cattle Breeders Club welcomed Holstein UK’s President Andrew Jones to present Mary Mead of the Lakemead Prefix with Holstein UK’s Lifetime Achievement Award during the annual conference dinner in January, at Telford. Mary and her husband Roger started farming in 1961 in the Yeo Valley where they formed the Lakemead herd of British Friesians.  A closed h...
19th March 2024
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Genetic solutions for Net Zero Beef
Brongain Farms are using data to pinpoint areas for improvement in its quest to become carbon neutral by 2030. Father and son Rowan and Greg Pickstock, who are also beef processors, farm 350ha in Llanfechain. They are targeting a daily liveweight gain of 1.1kg to produce net zero beef from grass. Currently, dairy-beef animals are finished at 650kg aged 22.5 months, and are on grass for 270 days...
12th March 2024
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Working towards low carbon cattle farming
To meet the UK’s legislative goals for net zero, as measured using the UK National Inventory, the farming industry needs to urgently move with a great pace on measuring, monitoring, and reducing gross farm emissions, warned a leading agricultural professor. Speaking at the British Cattle Breeder’s Conference on 24 January, Professor Elizabeth Magowan, Director of Sustainable Agri-Food Sciences Di...
6th March 2024
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Fast Breeders Project
Dairy farmer Rory Christie from Dourie Farming Ltd in South-West Scotland has helped create the first crossbreeding index as part of the Fast Breeders Project, led by geneticist Mike Coffey from SRUC. The project involves three other spring calving grazing herds milking a total of 4,250 cows. Mr Christie says during the inception of the project they had the ‘very audacious goal’ to increase inco...
27th February 2024
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Building a profitable suckler enterprise
Aberdeenshire suckler farmer Duncan Morrison said running a simple, low-cost grass-based system has helped him build a ‘lean and mean’ business. Since taking on a 226-acre tenancy in 2016, Mr Morrison and his wife Claire have grown their business to 650 acres and will bull 250 spring-calving cows and heifers this spring – a mix of Aberdeen-Angus and Stabilisers. He advocated for farmers to becom...
23rd February 2024
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Red meat and dairy are vital for human health
Red meat and dairy are vital for human health and more must be done to challenge publications that advocate dramatic reductions or total exclusions of animal-sourced foods from human diets. This was the message from Professor Alice Stanton, from the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland, who warned that many publications calling for this are not rigorously peer-reviewed or transparently evidence-b...
20th February 2024
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Genetics a 'key part' of a healthy business
Organic dairy farmer Wil Armitage said genetics was a key part of a healthy business alongside good cow and soil health, people, and profit. Wil milks 900 cows across three farms comprising almost 3,000 acres under various agreements. Cow health Moderate-sized Holsteins make up the mainstay of the herds. “We have stuck with the Holstein, and she has delivered,” said Wil. Bulls are selected fo...
14th February 2024
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Sponsors Feature - Hereford Cattle Society
Over 250 years of breeding has made the famous red-coated, white-face Hereford the worlds most recognised beef breed. Capable of adapting to all type of production systems and environmental conditions, the breed can be found from the highlands of Scotland to the prairies of Canada. The breeds many attributes include ease of calving, docile natures, and superior calf survival: however, it is not j...
13th February 2024
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Sponsors Feature - Weatherbys Scientific
Weatherbys is a family business which has been operating successfully since 1770. The core business is rooted in thoroughbred horses and is responsible for Racing Administration in the United Kingdom, as well as registering all thoroughbred horses in Britain and Ireland within The General Stud Book. In Ireland, Weatherbys run an industry-leading laboratory service, Weatherbys Scientific, which ha...
10th February 2024
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Nominations for the prestigious Sir John Hammond Award 2024 - open until 1st March
BCBC continues to support one of the sector's most prestigious awards, the Sir John Hammond Award with BSAS.  Awarded to those working in research, teaching, advisory, farming or affiliated professions who have made a significant contribution and positive impacts in the UK and RoI to animal science. The nominations for the 2024 award close soon, please visit
9th February 2024
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How genetics, data and technology can help reduce farm emissions
Genetics holds the key to lowering farm emissions and improving farm profits. This was the message from Dairy speakers at the British Cattle Breeders conference (24 January) at Telford. Mark Smith, EMEA Beef Director at Genus ABS, said: “Sustainability starts with genetics. It’s permanent and cumulative - it carries on generation after generation.” Selecting ‘greener genetics’ Mr Smith spoke a...
5th February 2024
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British Cattle Breeding Conference sheds light on how farmers can go green
How can farmers adapt to meet the climate change challenges? This was the question posed at our conference in Telford, Shropshire, last week (22-24 January). Acclaimed academics, scientists and leading farmers told delegates how a combination of tools could help farmers deliver Net Zero. These included adopting carbon calculators, using cutting-edge technology to breed more efficient animals and...
30th January 2024
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Sponsors Feature - VikingGenetics
VikingGenetics – Innovative Breeding At VikingGenetics, we help feed the world’s expanding population and sustain the earth’s natural resources by breeding healthy, efficient, trouble-free cows. We provide science-based cattle genetic solutions for progressive dairy and beef producers innovating for the future of dairy farming. Future-friendly Farming Sustainability is the future. The world ne...
19th January 2024
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Sponsors Feature - Neogen
Take Advantage of Neogen’s Cutting-Edge Advancements in Genomics and Dairy Hygiene Today Our advanced combination of tailored genomics and dairy hygiene solutions enables us to support dairy farmers in achieving optimal herd health, milk quality, and profitability. Your Professional Partner in Dairy Hygiene Neogen provides a comprehensive range of dairy hygiene solutions, contributing to the ov...
18th January 2024
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Meet the speakers... Jason Rowntree
Jason Rowntree is a professor of Animal Science at Michigan State University (MSU) where he holds the Charles Stewart Mott Distinguished Professorship for Sustainable Agriculture. He also serves as the Director of MSU’s Center for Regenerative Agriculture. Rowntree’s research focus is identifying the metrics and management that reflect ecological improvement in grazing land systems. He conducts th...
16th January 2024
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Meet the speakers... ffinlo Costain
Farmers must be properly supported by the government as they transition to regenerative farming. This is the belief of ffinlo Costain, chief editor of Mr Costain has a wealth of experience working with farmers transitioning to regenerative farming systems through the think tank FarmWel. The industry needs to start focussing on broader ecological security rather than just emissions, ...
15th January 2024
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Sponsors Feature - Cargill
Methane is the most significant greenhouse gas (GHG) produced on ruminant livestock farms, typically forming 50% of total emissions, and therefore a major contributor to the farm’s carbon footprint (CFP). DEFRA has stated that methane-reducing feed products are an essential tool to decarbonise agriculture and they plan to incentivise their uptake. The feed product SilvAir®, developed by Cargill, ...
11th January 2024
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Sponsors Feature - Eurofins
As the global population continues to grow, there is an increasing demand for high-quality, sustainable animal products. The animal agriculture industry must balance the need to produce more food with the need to protect the environment, ensure animal welfare, and meet changing consumer expectations. Fortunately, modern scientific advancements are providing innovative solutions to these challenge...
11th January 2024
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Meet the speakers... Wil Armitage, Dairy farmer
Organic dairy farmer Wil Armitage made his name in the Holstein scene winning showmanship championships at All-Britain, Madison and Toronto Winter Fairs, before becoming herd manager for Peter Dixon-Smith at Keythorpe Lakes Farm in Leicestershire. Under his tenure, the former Lyons pedigree herd became the highest-yielding herd in the UK, producing 12,000 litres at a cell count of 93, and went on...
9th January 2024
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Sponsors Feature - Elanco
Elanco is a global leader in animal health dedicated to innovating and delivering products and services to prevent and treat disease in farm animals and pets, creating value for farmers, pet owners, veterinarians, stakeholders, and society as a whole. Our Promise: We will rigorously innovate to benefit our customers and improve the health of animals. Elanco’s comprehensive product portfolio supp...
8th January 2024
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Sponsors Feature - Livestock information
Discover the Livestock Information Service – Track. Trace. Inform. The Livestock Information Service is specifically designed to improve the performance and sustainability of the livestock industry by transforming the quality of livestock movement data throughout the supply chain. Established in 2019, Livestock Information Ltd was created as a joint venture between industry and government to pro...
5th January 2024
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Meet the speakers... Professor Elizabeth Magowan
Farmers need to concentrate on reducing gross farm emissions to reduce their carbon footprint as well as support the national effort to meet net zero. This is the message from Professor Elizabeth Magowan, Director of Sustainable Agri-Food Sciences Division in the Agri-Food and Biosciences Institute, Northern Ireland. Prof Magowan says if farmers want to play their role in meeting the UK target o...
4th January 2024
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Meet the speakers... Director of Research Professor Sharon Huws
Ruminant methane can be reduced by as much as 60% through dietary intervention, according to latest trials in Northern Ireland.   Professor Sharon Huws is director of research at Queen’s University Belfast and in her role as professor of animal science and microbiology, she has been exploring the effects of feeding ruminants: Multi-species plants (containing six species). The Red seaweed Aspara...
3rd January 2024
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Sponsors Feature - Illumina
Illumina, a pioneering force in genomics technology, has significantly revolutionized the fields of agrigenomics and animal breeding through its innovative sequencing and genotyping solutions. With its cutting-edge tools and platforms, Illumina enables precise genomic analysis, facilitating the selection of superior animals and accelerating genetic improvement programs across various animal speci...
31st December 2023
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Sponsors Feature - ABP
At ABP we’ve forged a reputation over sixty years for quality and innovation, supplying to our retail, foodservice and manufacturing customers, including multiple Michelin Star restaurants. We are committed to supporting British agriculture and work with over 12,000 farming families across the UK each year.  We are passionate about helping farmers meet the demands of consumers to produce high qua...
30th December 2023
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The journey to Net Zero, the ARC Zero experience
A group of farmers in Northern Ireland are making significant progress towards Net Zero, with some already achieving Net Zero, as part of a pioneering project called Accelerating Ruminant Carbon Zero (ARCZero). In NI farmers must cut emissions by 48% before 2030 and reach net zero by 2050 under the Climate Change Act, which was introduced in 2022. Funded by the NI Executive and the EU’s EIP-Agri...
13th December 2023
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Sponsors Feature - Agrecalc
Agrecalc is a carbon footprint tool developed by combining the on-farm practical expertise of SAC Consulting with world-class agricultural science and research of SRUC.  What started as a small tool to help calculate the carbon footprint of imported lamb in 2007, grew into a fully-fledged Software as a Service. Agrecalc is a precise instrument that offers both breadth and depth of on-farm and thr...
12th December 2023
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Students and young farmers can apply for a conference day place funded by the Co-op
Leading convenience retailer, Co-op is funding 40 young farmers and agricultural student spaces at this year’s British Cattle Breeder’s Conference. The conference, which is taking place on the 22-24 January at the Telford Hotel and Golf Resort in Shropshire, is entitled ‘Green Genes – revolutionising cattle breeding for a sustainable future’ and will explore how breeding can help meet UK greening...
11th December 2023
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