< British Cattle Breeders Club conference to look at how cattle farmers can go greener
BCBC Chairman Ben Harman

The British Cattle Breeders Club conference is returning to Telford in January and will explore why the UK’s cattle industry is part of the climate change solution and how breeding can help meet greening targets.

The industry has pledged to become net zero by 2040, and some national governments are already proposing livestock reductions.

However, there is another, more sustainable solution to meet targets, believes BCBC Chairman, Ben Harman.

He adds: “We can adapt our breeding and management practices by making the best use of science and technology to improve animal efficiencies and reduce emissions. This will also drive business profitability.”

This year’s BCBC keynote presentations will bring together farmers and academia to understand how this can be achieved. 

These include:

  • Professor John Gilliland, farmer and special adviser for AHDB, will talk about the Accelerating Ruminant Carbon Zero (ARCZero) project that he is leading. The project comprises seven farms in Northern Ireland that are undertaking carbon audits, including the assessment of carbon stocks within soils and trees, with the aim of identifying where future management can be changed to accelerate their move towards net zero.
  • Beef farmer Duncan Morrison, from Aberdeenshire, will reveal how he is running a profitable 240-head suckler herd that is delivering environmental credentials.
  • Professor Elizabeth Magowan, from the Agri-Food and Biosciences Institute (AFBI), will present the findings of a recent study that examined how the cattle industry can reduce its greenhouse gas emissions at a farm and national level.
  • Professor Alice Stanton, clinician-scientist, will explain why policymakers and scientists should be wary of reports advocating dramatic reductions or exclusions of red meat and dairy.
  • Bjørg Heringstad, a research scientist at the Norwegian University of Life Sciences (NMBU) and Geno Breeding, will present the latest results of their green cow project aimed at breeding feed-efficient Norwegian Red cows.

Mr Harman adds: “I am hugely excited about the BCBC 2024 conference. To deliver on my chosen theme of 'revolutionising cattle breeding for a sustainable future' seemed somewhat optimistic.

“Now we are close to finalising the programme, I am convinced that we have assembled a congregation of speakers with the knowledge, passion and brilliance to make a generational change to the sustainability of cattle breeding in the UK.”


The conference will take place at Telford Hotel and Golf Resort from 22-24 January 2024. The full programme and online booking will be available at the end of September at www.cattlebreeders.org.uk 

Photography Credit @Jenny Wood photography