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However fellow Mourneman Harold McKee stepped down as Secretary having been appointed NI member of the British Blue Cattle Society governing Council. The new club secretary is Libby Young from Ballynahinch with Jason Edgar, Downpatrick remaining as vice chairman.
The other office holders for the coming year are; treasurer Jim Ervine, Newtownabbey, auditors Alan Cleland, Downpatrick and Jim Sloan, Kilkeel.
As before the executive committee consists of the office holders plus Andrew Craig, Coleraine, Alan Cleland, James Martin, Newtownards, Basil Dougherty, Newtownards, Laura Ervine, Newtownabbey and Simon Loughery, Limavady.
IVAN ENJOYS THE LEARNING CURVE!
“This past year returns for beef producers improved and the popularity of British Blues, the ultimate terminal sires for dairy and suckler herds, continued to grow.
“However, some beef producers still fail to invest in the type of bulls that will really take their whole herd forward. They fail to realise that half the genetics, the money making characteristics in their calf crop, come from the bull.
“Happily our neighbours in the Irish Republic and on the UK mainland very much appreciate the quality of stock we breed in NI. Over two thirds of stock sold this past year by club members went to buyers from outside Northern Ireland, some from as far afield as Cornwall and Cork!
“Bidders, who found British Blues bred in NI well worth the drive to Society sales in Moira and Carlisle. At the Borderway Mart in Carlisle last spring Ulster breeders swept the boards showing the female champion, senior male champion, intermediate champion, reserve champion and overall champion.
Congratulations to Mel and Diane Lucas, Jim Sloan and family, Sam Milligan and Gary Beacom. Seeing a NI British Blue sell to £10,500 was memorable.”
Continuing Ivan Gordon recalled excellent club meetings and events for members such as the annual dinner dance before reminding the AGM that. when it comes to promoting the breed to potential buyers every member has a part to play.
“For example, the role of all who exhibited such strong classes of British Blues not only at Balmoral, but in Ballymena, Ballymoney, Saintfield, Antrim and Castlewellan cannot be under estimated.
“Our bull and heifer Derbys were a huge success as was the ever growing young handlers’ competition and calf show at Moira Arena.
“Well done to all who took part and to that faithful band of members who helped office holders organise Club events.
“The Martin family on the Ards hosted another successful BBQ and charity auction where it was announced that the Snowy Ridge Herd of James and Gloria Annett had taken the prestigious show herd championship.
In closing his chairman’s remarks Ivan Gordon paid a generous tribute to previous occupants of the chair and warmly thanked vice chairman Jason Edgar, Treasurer Jim Ervine, retiring Secretary Harold McKee and members of the executive committee for their support.
“Harold McKee’s unstinting attention to detail and willingness to go that extra mile in ensuring NI British Blue Club events happen is remarkable. Though retiring after four years as club secretary Harold will continue to play a pivotal role by serving as the NI member of the British Blue Cattle Society council.
“In closing my report for the past year I note the backing our breed has
had from the province’s farming press. As breeders we do appreciate the
co-operation of newspaper editors and our club photographers Kevin McAuley and
Columba O’Hare in getting the message across loud and clear – to
upgrade your calves breed from Blue bulls.”
Ballymena Blues Top 3,700gns
Judge, John Killen had a small but select show of “Blues” at the inaugural British Blue Cattle Society Show & Sale, held at Ballymena Livestock Mart, on Friday 12th April. [report]
NI Blue Club 2013
Blues top at 5,000gns at Moira
The Northern Ireland Blue Cattle Club Autumn Show & Sale of Pedigree Blues on Saturday 3rd November. [report]