Category Archives: News

Louise Welsh author image 1.2mb

This is it! Scotland’s literary talent in the spotlight at cabaret event

Best-selling author Louise Welsh and award-winning poet William Letford are set to headline an inaugural literary cabaret taking place this month, which shines a light on the nation’s literary scene in 2017.

The fast-paced, 90-minute show – called This Is It! -  will highlight the year’s literary happenings across five strands – publishing, book festivals, school and public libraries, writers, and the international perspective.

Fiona Hyslop MSP, Cabinet Secretary for Culture, Tourism and External Affairs will openthis first public event from Literature Alliance Scotland (LAS) – the nation’s largest network of literature and languages organisations – on Wednesday 23 November from 7pm at Central Hall, Edinburgh.

A3 Poster v2 Web

Speakers include, respectively, Canongate Books’ Publishing Director Francis Bickmore, Adrian Turpin, Artistic Director of Wigtown Book Festival, and Pamela Tulloch, Chief Executive of Scottish Libraries Information Council.

Poet William Letford, who hails from Stirling, will cover writer development and perform a reading of his poem This Is It from which the event takes its name.

Closing the show will be Glasgow-based author, Louise Welsh, who will speak about Scotland’s books and literature on the international stage as well as the importance of literary exchange between nations.

Louise Welsh, William Letford (l) & Francis Bickmore.

Louise Welsh, William Letford (l) & Francis Bickmore.

In addition, attendees will be able to browse and buy books from Scotland’s writers and publishers courtesy of Blackwell’s Bookshop, Edinburgh while librarians from South Lanarkshire’s digital library programme ‘ACTIVEe’ will be on hand to demonstrate 3D printers which are now available in all of Scotland’s public libraries.

Peggy Hughes, Chair of LAS said: “With over 40 book festivals a year, ambitious new publishing houses such as 404ink emerging, stalwarts such as Birlinn celebrating 25 years, another Man Booker shortlisting for Ali Smith, Muriel Spark’s centenary on the horizon, not to mention the many, many Scottish books and authors that are going into the world every day and taking our stories and voices with them, it seemed high time that we took a moment to celebrate the wealth of our literature sector and shout about its cultural and social value.”

“At a time when Scotland’s Culture Strategy is being developed, it’s vital that we champion our sector and all the talented people working within and for it. Our literary cabaret is a chance for everyone with an interest in Scotland’s literature and book community to gather together and say, ‘This is it, this is a snapshot of what’s been happening this year’. It’s about carving out a space to celebrate the wonderful success, highlight the exciting potential and address the challenges. That’s why we’re so delighted that Fiona Hyslop is officially opening the event and giving this rich and vibrant sector the recognition it deserves.”

Culture Secretary Fiona Hyslop said: “Scotland’s distinguished literary culture is a notable part of our national identity. It also attracts visitors to Scotland and raises our cultural profile around the world.

“I am pleased that the Literature Alliance Scotland is extending its reach beyond its membership of key individuals and agencies which promote writers and publishers to engage with the public.

“We are doing all we can to support the literary sector to ensure this rich legacy is maintained and strengthened in future years. We do this through for example our support for Creative Scotland, literacy, libraries, festivals, Book Week Scotland, the First Minister’s Reading Challenge and the post of Makar.”

Jenny Niven, Head of Literature, Languages & Publishing, Creative Scotland, said: “We have a unique, distinctive and rich cultural asset in literature that not only makes an enormous impact to people’s lives in Scotland but also enhances our reputation internationally.  From poets to storytellers, screenwriters and playwrights the quantity and quality of writing being published here is truly inspiring. This is It! and Literature Alliance Scotland creates an important opportunity to bring together authors, publishers, libraries, festivals and literary organisations, and champion the work being done to make literature more visible to a greater number of people. We look forward to continuing this work with Scottish Government, partner agencies and individuals to create the best conditions to support a thriving literature and publishing sector in Scotland and internationally.”

This Is It! is hosted by Siân Bevan and tickets are £7 /(£6 – concessions) – https://this-is-it-literary-cabaret-2017.eventbrite.com/

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Issued by JK Consultancy on behalf of Literature Alliance Scotland. For further information, please contact LAS Communications Officer Jenny Kumar on 07989 557198 / jenny@jkconsultancy.com

Notes to Editor

Photos: Headshots of Louise Welsh and William Letford available on request.

Literature Alliance Scotland, a membership organisation, represents the principal literature and languages organisations in Scotland, and is committed to advancing their interests at home and abroad. We exist to provide a strong, trusted collective voice on their behalf. Formed in Spring 2015, LAS is a successor to the Literature Forum for Scotland. For further information visit www.literaturealliancescotland.co.uk or follow us on Twitter: @LitScotland

Creative Scotland is the public body that supports the arts, screen and creative industries across all parts of Scotland on behalf of everyone who lives, works or visits here. We enable people and organisations to work in and experience the arts, screen and creative industries in Scotland by helping others to develop great ideas and bring them to life. We distribute funding provided by the Scottish Government and the National Lottery. For further information about Creative Scotland, please visit www.creativescotland.com Follow us @creativescots and www.facebook.com/CreativeScotland

CKD Galbraith

CKD Galbraith wins exclusive management appointment for The Charlotte Square Collection

CKD Galbraith has been appointed to manage a portfolio of 19 townhouse office buildings in Charlotte Square, Edinburgh on behalf of The Charlotte Square Collection.

The win sees Scotland’s leading independent property consultants managing almost half the properties at this prestigious address in Edinburgh’s New Town.

The Charlotte Square Collection is the largest single property owner on the Square and has a vision to restore the commercial fortunes of the Georgian masterpiece.

Corran Properties Ltd, on behalf of Fordell Estates Ltd, is regenerating the properties in phases, to create first-class office accommodation designed with leading financial sector companies in mind.

In line with this, CKD Galbraith’s role as managing agents will be to provide exceptional, five star management service that meets the demands of modern commercial occupiers.

The current development phase comprises the reinvention of six substantial townhouses on the south side to create four new properties – numbers 26, 28, 30 and 31 Charlotte Square – that will connect period office space to new open-plan accommodation.

Edward Holt, Partner at CKD Galbraith, said: “ This is one of the most exclusive portfolios in Scotland where our remit will be to provide a first-class service to occupiers that extends beyond the traditional reach of management services. It’s a unique project, particularly in this economy, and we’re delighted to be part of the team.”

Nick Ball, Director at Corran Properties, said: “The appointment of CKD Galbraith underlines our commitment to provide the best in class service at every stage within The Charlotte Square Collection.”

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Notes to editor

Issued by JK Consultancy of behalf of CKD Galbraith. For further information please contact Jenny Kumar on 07989 557198 or jenny@jkconsultancy.com

About CKD Galbraithwww.ckdgalbraith.co.uk

CKD Galbraith is an independent property consultancy specialising in serving the needs of private clients. It employs over 180 people in offices in Edinburgh, Stirling, Perth, Cupar, Inverness, Aberfeldy, Castle Douglas, Ayr, Elgin, Galashiels, Kelso and Peebles.

The firm provides the full range of property consulting services across the commercial, residential and rural sectors throughout Scotland. The company enjoys a successful relationship with its associate firm in London, CKD Kennedy Macpherson.

CKD Galbraith’s commercial arm delivers partner-led commercial property intelligence across a range of services, including property and asset management, professional services, investment consultancy, sales, lettings and acquisitions, project co-ordination, facilities management and building surveying.

5

Rural insurance HQ to open at UA’s Stirling Agri Centre

An expanding insurance broking business, specialising in farming and estate policies will be opening a new office at United Auctions’ (UA’s) Stirling Agricultural Centre in January 2013.

BCS Hendricks’ Farms & Estates Division has taken the last remaining 3,000 sq ft at Scotland’s leading livestock auctioneers’ Agricultural Centre, as their new headquarters.

And the business, which has a long-established office in St Andrews, has a strategy in place to become Scotland’s premier rural insurance broker.

It is already planning a recruitment drive for an initial core staff of five employees – rising to 20 by 2014.

Key appointments will be announced in January 2013 when the Stirling office will be officially open for business.

Neil McLean, Group Joint MD of UA, said: “This is great news for Stirling and for our customers. We’re delighted that this ambitious firm is opening its new HQ at the Centre.

“The addition of a rural insurance brokers perfectly complements the exceptional cluster of professional, agri-related services the Centre offers, which includes CKD Galbraith, Ledingham Chalmers, Johnston Carmichael and Carrs Billington Agriculture.

“This was our vision for the facility right from the start so it’s really satisfying to see it develop with such success.”

Ritchie Sherret, director of BCS Hendricks said: “This is such a huge opportunity for us. There is a real sense of community at the Centre and I can’t think of any other business location in Scotland that offers such great potential with a footfall of over 22,000 on your doorstep every year.

“The opportunity is also recognised by two of the country’s largest agricultural underwriters with whom we are finalising arrangements that will see us launching perhaps the best all-round policy on the market with very competitive premiums. We are expecting to make a real impact.”

BCS Hendricks’ Insurance will take over the bespoke insurance service for the Stirling Bull Sales from February next year.

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Issued by JK Consultancy Ltd on behalf of United Auctions. For further information please contact Jenny Kumar of JK Consultancy on 07989 557198 or jenny@jkconsultancy.com

 

NOTES TO EDITOR

About United Auctions – www.uagroup.co.uk

United Auctions (UA) are Scotland’s leading livestock auctioneers and procurement specialists and operate a network of different auction markets across Scotland, including Stirling, Huntly, Lairg, Dalmally, Tiree, Islay, South Uist and an area office and lairage facility at Oban. The company conducts auctions of both commercial and pedigree livestock, including the world-famous Stirling Bull Sales (previously known as the Perth Bull Sales) and provides farm-to-farm and farm-to-abattoir procurement services.

BCS Hendricks – www.bcshendricks.co.uk

BCS Hendricks is an independent, niche insurance brokers who provide an unparalleled personal service for their corporate, agricultural and private clients. As independents we can call on our extensive range of industry contacts, gained over 30 years, throughout the country to meet and cover any risk presented at competitive premiums.

06 Chinese delegation

Fact-finding Chinese delegation visits Stirling Agricultural Centre

A high profile group of agricultural officials and veterinarians from China visited Stirling Agricultural Centre on Wednesday October 17th for a fact-finding visit about the Scottish auction market system and traceability systems.

Led by Ms Wang Qiuxia (pictured right of David Leggat), Director of the Province of Jiangsu Inspection and Quarantine Bureau on the east coast of China, the 26 delegates spent 90 minutes with United Auctions’ (UA’s) Executive Chairman David Leggat, discussing – with the help of an interpreter -livestock marketing and traceability of livestock movement systems in Scotland.

They also toured the mart during the Centre’s special sale of store and forward cattle, cast cows and sheep to see best practices in action.

David Leggat, Executive Chairman of UA, said: “We were delighted to welcome such a high powered delegation. They were an extremely knowledgeable and interested group who were impressed by what they saw.

“We recognise the international benefit of sharing industry knowledge and best practice and are delighted to be enhancing our Sino-Scottish relationship in this way.”

The visit to Scotland’s leading livestock auctioneers was the group’s only engagement in Scotland. It followed a tour in York and the delegation left Stirling for their next scheduled stop in Wales.

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Issued by JK Consultancy Ltd on behalf of United Auctions. For further information please contact: Jenny Kumar on 07989 557198 or jenny@jkconsultancy.com

Stirling Bull Sales Medal

United Auctions introduces new Judge’s Medal by Iona Crawford at Stirling Bull Sales

United Auctions (UA) have commissioned one of Scotland’s most exciting artist designers to create an exclusive medal for Judges in honour of the first, official Stirling Bull Sales.

Iona Crawford, who is originally from Stirling and works internationally as an artist and fashion designer, was specially commissioned by Scotland’s leading livestock auctioneers to design the medal, which commemorates the Judges’ important role in the national event.

The Stirling Bull Sales will take place at UA’s Stirling Agricultural Centre from Monday October 22nd to Wednesday October 24th 2012 with 875 pedigree bulls and females on show and sale.

Iona Crawford grew up at Craigend Farm near Stirling, which is still worked by her parents Willie and Evelyn.

After graduating with a first class honours from Edinburgh College of Art she has gone on to establish an international reputation as a designer, working within both the fashion and luxury interiors industries. Drawing inspiration from the beauty and diversity of the Scottish countryside, Iona’s painterly practice is stimulated by her artistic impression of her surrounds.

In September of this year she spent time in New York, exhibiting during Mercedes Benz Fashion Week, Home Fashion Market Week and the Hamptons Fashion Weekend. After a brief few days back in Glasgow, Iona flew out to Chicago where she was invited to represent Scotland as part of a cultural trade delegation during the Ryder Cup.

Moulded in antique gold each of the 60mm diametermedals depicts the head and shoulders of a champion bull – complete with a rosette – against a backdrop of Stirling’s iconic landscape, including the Wallace Monument, Stirling Castle, the Craigforth Crag and Dumyat leading down to the Rivers Teith and Forth, which converge near the Agricultural Centre.

The medals will be presented to each of the seven Judges in a handcrafted Bury Elm wood box lined with green tweed. Each Judge’s name will be engraved on the reverse of the medal alongside the month and date of the Sales.

Neil McLean, UA’s Group Joint Managing Director who led on the project, said: “The introduction of the Judge’s Medal is an important new feature for the Stirling Bull Sales and, as far as we’re aware, is the first of its kind. It is a mark of respect for the Judges and their considerable knowledge, experience and skill.

“It’s been a real pleasure working with Iona on this project. Her passion for what she does is infectious and we’re delighted with the design, which perfectly tells the story of the Stirling Bull Sales.”

Iona Crawford said: “Whilst work dictates that I often travel internationally to promote my brand, at heart I am a Stirling farmer’s daughter and enjoy returning regularly to help out at Craigend and to hear what’s new on the farm.

“I have developed a deep love and fondness for the agricultural way of life which will never leave me, so I was honoured and delighted to be invited to design these unique medals.”

Stirling Bull Sales’ highlights

The Autumn Sales sees the largest entry of Beef Shorthorn heifers forward to date at the Autumn event – 122 in total will go under the hammer on Monday October 22nd.

On the same day, there will be a major reduction of the high-achieving Mosston Muir herd of pedigree Aberdeen Angus from Tom and Joyce Rennie of Forfar, which has won the Walker Shortbread Trophy seven times.

To mark the close of the Charolais Cattle Society’s Golden Anniversary year, Michel Baudot

President of Herd Book Charolais, will be welcomed from Magny-Cours in Central France to judge the Charolais entries on Tuesday October 23rd.  He will be the first Charolais Judge to receive the new Judge’s Medal.

In addition, two charity auctions of paintings will take place during the Sales with two paintings of Beef Shorthorn cattle raising funds for the Strathcarron Hospice while the RSABI will be supported by the auction of two further paintings of bulls and a part-set of Aberdeen Angus Herd Books.

The agricultural charity will also have a trade stand at the Sales to raise funds for their support services.

David Leggat, UA’s Executive Chairman, said: “We’re delighted with the number and quality of entries on show and sale for the Stirling Bull Sales.

“Working with the breed societies, we strive to improve animal health and we’re proud that virtually all cattle entered have a health status declaration detailed in the catalogues.”

Mr Leggat continued: “We’re particularly pleased to have the continued support of our long-standing sponsors of the October event CKD Galbraith, whose National Farm Sales Office is based at the Centre and with whom we work closely on a number of projects.”

Full catalogue details for the Sales are available on the pedigree page of UA’s website www.uagroup.co.uk along with access to the live webcam.

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NOTES TO EDITOR

  • Medals will be presented to each Judge at a private lunch or dinner following their respective show.
  • Opportunities for photographs of the event are available from Sunday October 21.st

 

Judges
Aberdeen Angus – Wanda Hobbs, 5 Wedderlie Cottages, Gordon TD3 6NW

Beef Shorthorn – David Scarth, Twatt Farm, Birsay, Orkney KW17 2LN

Limousin – Steven Priestley, Cracrop, Kirkcambeck, Brampton CA8 2BW

British Blue – Kenneth Veitch, Drumlone, Lisbellaw, Co. Fermanagh, Northern Ireland BT94 5PN

Salers – Graham McClymont, Cuil, Palnure, Newton Stewart DG8 6BL

Simmental – Harold Stubbs, Derrycallaghan, Crummy, Lisnakea BT92 0PJ

Charolais – Michel Baudot, Agropole Du Marault, 58470 Magny-Cours, France

Show and Sale programme

Sunday 21st October
08.30 Aberdeen Angus bull inspection
10.00 Beef Shorthorn bull inspection
10.30 Limousin bull inspection followed by British Blues
12.00 Simmental bull inspection
14.30 Charolais bull inspection
Monday 22nd October
08.00 Show of Aberdeen Angus females followed by bulls
10.30 Show of Beef Shorthorn females followed by bulls
12.30 Sale of Aberdeen Angus bulls (88) & Beef Shorthorn bulls (27)
13.00 Show of Limousin females & Limousin bulls followed by Salers & British Blue bulls
14.30 Sale of Aberdeen Angus females (108)
16.00 Sale of Beef Shorthorn females (126)
17.00 Sale of Limousin bulls (115), Salers bulls (9), British Blue bulls (5) & Blonde (3), followed by Limousin females (10) & Salers females (16)
Tuesday 23rd October
08.00 Show of Simmental females followed by bulls
13.00 Show of Charolais females followed by bulls
13.30 Sale of Simmental females (25)
14.00 Sale of Simmental bulls (139)
Wednesday 24th October
10.30 Sale of Charolais bulls (172) followed by females (32)

About United Auctions – www.uagroup.co.uk

United Auctions (UA) are Scotland’s leading livestock auctioneers and procurement specialists and operate a network of different auction markets across Scotland, including Stirling, Huntly, Lairg, Dalmally, Tiree, Islay, South Uist and an area office and lairage facility at Oban. The company conducts auctions of both commercial and pedigree livestock, including the world-famous Stirling Bull Sales (previously known as the Perth Bull Sales) and provides farm-to-farm and farm-to-abattoir procurement services.

Issued on behalf of United Auctions by JK Consultancy. For further information please contact:

United Auctions – Jenny Kumar, JK Consultancy on 07989 557198 or jenny@jkconsultancy.com

Iona Crawford – Colin Grant, Spectrum PR on 07411 697666 or colin.grant@spectrumpr.co.uk

138 JR sale ring copy

UA Officially Renames Event as Stirling Bull Sales

United Auctions (UA) are to rebrand the Perth Bull Sales as the Stirling Bull Sales.

Scotland’s leading livestock auctioneers and procurement specialists have taken the decision to update the Bull Sales’ brand to reflect its Stirling location.

The world-famous event, established in Perth in 1865, takes place annually in February, May and October and attracts more than 22,000 UK and international visitors each year.

The Sales were transferred to Stirling in 2009 as part of the company’s amalgamation of its Perth and Stirling businesses into a single centre of operation at the new Stirling Agricultural Centre.

While it made sense to retain the internationally recognised brand at that time, it has become clear that the name creates misunderstanding regarding where the Sales actually take place as well as ambiguity in how to refer to them.

David Leggat, Executive Chairman of UA, said: “We are incredibly proud of the Perth element of the Bull Sales’ heritage, which is held dear to many people, including myself. However, the event has been known anecdotally as the Stirling Sales since they moved here nearly three years ago and we feel the time is right to officially adapt the name for clarity of location.”

Stirling Labour MP, Anne McGuire said: “I am delighted that UA have decided to rebrand the Bull Sales as the Stirling Sales. The success of the new Auction Mart has no doubt played a part in this decision. UA made a strong commitment to Stirling with the massive investment in the Mart, and as a strong supporter of the development since the beginning; I wish the newly renamed Stirling Bull Sales in October every success, which will attract buyers and sellers from all parts of the UK and beyond.”

Bruce Crawford, SNP MSP for Stirling said: “Changing the name to the Stirling Bull Sales makes sense and should help avoid confusion. I also feel that this change of name reflects the fact that the Bull Sales have been a very welcome addition to the Stirling area in recent years that have made this area at the very heart of Scotland’s agricultural industry.

“After great success in recent years, I am sure the Stirling Bull Sales will go from strength to strength in the years to come.”

Stirling Council’s Provost Mike Robbins said: ‘It’s terrific to see the renaming of the Bull Sales to reflect their new home here in Scotland’s heart. The Sales are a major event in the agricultural calendar and bring thousands of visitors to our area.’

The format and all other aspects of the Sales will remain the same.

The new brand comes into immediate effect with the first, official Stirling Bull Sales being the Autumn Sales held from October 22nd to 24th 2012.

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Issued on behalf of United Auctions by JK Consultancy. For further information please contact: Jenny Kumar on 07989 557198 or jenny@jkconsultancy.com

NOTES TO EDITOR

About United Auctions – www.uagroup.co.uk

United Auctions (UA) are Scotland’s leading livestock auctioneers and procurement specialists and operate a network of different auction markets across Scotland, including Stirling, Huntly, Lairg, Dalmally, Tiree, Islay, South Uist and an area office and lairage facility at Oban. The company conducts auctions of both commercial and pedigree sheep and cattle, provides farm-to-farm and farm-to-abattoir procurement services and hosts the world-famous Stirling Bull Sales (formerly the Perth Bull Sales) at its HQ, the Stirling Agricultural Centre.

United Auctions Master-2

Stirling to Host UK’s Biggest National Blackface Show

The biggest show of Blackface Sheep in the country is set to take place in the City of Stirling on Sunday 29th July.

The prestigious National Show of the Blackface Sheep Breeders’ Association is held every five years and has attracted a bumper 330 entries from Scotland and northern England.

Hundreds of Blackface enthusiasts and hill farmers from all over the UK and Ireland will descend on host venue Stirling Agricultural Centre, the HQ of United Auctions.

It will be only the second time in the history of both the show and the breed that all three types of Blackface sheep – North (Perth), South (Lanark & Newton Stewart) and North of England (Hexham) – will be shown at the same event.

Billy Renwick, President of the Association, who runs the Blackhouse flock at Yarrow, Selkirk, believes the show has a great deal to offer to both exhibitors and spectators alike. He said: “It’s a great occasion to showcase the very best of all three types of Blackie and to compete against people from all areas of Scotland and the North of England. But, not only that, it’s a fantastic social event, especially this year as we have seen the dismal wet weather put a stop to many of the summer shows.”

He added: “We are also very grateful to all our sponsors for supporting the event, especially our main sponsor VG Energy.”

Matt Stevenson, Sales Manager/Auctioneer and Head of Store Sheep Sales at Scotland’s leading livestock auctioneers, said: “This is set to be an outstanding show of quality pedigree sheep and we’re delighted to bring such a major event in the Blackface calendar to the Stirling Agricultural Centre.”

Entries will be shown in two rings in the Exhibition Hall and judging starts at 11am.

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Notes to Editor
Judges
North (Perth) Type – Alan Petrie of Tannadice, Forfar
South (Lanark & Newton Stewart) Type – Angus Kennedy of Biggar
North of England (Hexham) Type – James Herdman of Edlingham Newtown, Alnwick

Issued by JK Consultancy on behalf of United Auctions.

For further information, please contact:
United Auctions – Jenny Kumar on 07989 557198 or jenny@jkconsultancy.com
Blackface Sheep Breeders’ Association – Aileen McFadzean on 07768 820405

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United Auctions’ double documentary broadcast this week

United Auctions’ staff feature in two BBC documentaries airing this week.

First up is Gaelic-speaking Donald Morrison, Regional MD / Auctioneer for the West of Scotland, who is featured in BBC Alba’s The Auctioneer’s Story as part of the series Trusadh. Donald is one of three auctioneers followed to showcase the behind-the-scenes aspect of auctions and auctioneers.

Tune in (possibly with subtitles switched on!) at 9pm tonight on Virgin Media channel 188 or on Sky channel 168.

Next up is Executive Chairman David Leggat, who appears in episode three of the new BBC series Britain’s Lost Routes with Griff Rhys Jones - Highland Cattle Drove.

Watch David value the Highland Cattle Griff droves from Skye to Falkirk and then sells at the Stirling Agricultural Centre on Thursday 14th June at 8pm on BBC1.

52 - bull cu (2)

Largest Line-Up Yet for UA’s May Multi-Breed Event

Next week’s May Multi-Breed Show and Sale will be the largest and most comprehensive selection yet at United Auctions’ (UA’s) Stirling Agricultural Centre.

253 pedigree bulls and females will be going under the hammer on Monday 7 May 2012 at the annual one-day event, which has been going from strength to strength over the past five years.

And this year will be the first time UA stages a breed society sale of Longhorns, one of the UK’s most ancient cattle breeds.

The May Multi-Breed Sale continues to be supported by Towergate Insurance.

It is run in conjunction with a special May show and of sale of commercial beef breeding cattle, which is sponsored by Carrs Billington who opened a new country store at the Stirling Agricultural Centre in March last year.

Full catalogue details can be downloaded from UA’s homepage www.uagroup.co.uk. The Multi-Breed Sale will be broadcast live on the webcam via UA’s website and as-it-happens news will be posted on the company’s Facebook page.

The Charolais, Simmental, Limousin, Aberdeen Angus, Beef Shorthorn and Longhorn breeds are all sold under the auspices of their respective breed societies.

Opportunities for photographs are available from Sunday 6 May.

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Issued on behalf of United Auctions by JK Consultancy. For further information please contact: Jenny Kumar on 07989 557198 or jenny@jkconsultancy.com

NOTES TO EDITOR
Judges
Charolais – Mr B Harman, Grove Lane, Chesham
Simmental – Mr S Grant, Dellfield, Druid Temple Farm, Inverness
Limousin – Mr A Proctor, Swarland Old Hall, Swarland, Morpeth
Aberdeen Angus – Miss Angela McGregor, Newcairnie, Cupar

Show and sale programme
Sunday 6 May
12 noon – Charolais inspection
1 pm – Simmental inspection
2 pm – Limousin inspection
3 pm – Aberdeen-Angus inspection
4 pm – Beef Shorthorn inspection

Monday 7 May
8 am – Show of Charolais bulls followed by Simmental bulls, Limousin bulls & Aberdeen-Angus bulls
11.30am – Sale of Longhorn bulls (4) & females (10) followed by Salers bulls (5) & British Blue bull (1)
12 noon – Sale of Charolais bulls (65) followed by Simmental bulls (44) & females (2), Limousin bulls (57) & females (5), Aberdeen-Angus bulls (56) & Beef Shorthorn bulls (4)

About United Auctions
United Auctions (UA) are Scotland’s leading livestock auctioneers and procurement specialists and operate a network of different auction markets across Scotland, including Stirling, Huntly, Lairg, Dalmally, Tiree, Islay, South Uist and an area office and lairage facility at Oban. The company conducts auctions of both commercial and pedigree sheep and cattle and provides farm-to-farm and farm-to-abattoir procurement services.

27

Scottish Mart Meetings State Tight Global Beef Supplies Will Keep Prices High

Beef prices look likely to remain firm on the back of a tight supply of cows and calves in the chain, according to Stuart Ashworth of Quality Meat Scotland (QMS), who spoke at a series of beef meetings held at four of Scotland’s Marts, including Stirling Agricultural Centre.

At the events organised by Bank of Scotland, Keenan and QMS at Thainstone, Lanark, Dingwall and Stirling auction marts, local farmers heard that the Scottish beef herd is very challenged following high culling rates. “There is little prospect of significantly more cattle appearing over the next couple of years so the tight supply will remain,” he said.

Mr Ashworth suggested that the supply and price dynamics are also likely to be affected going forward by low animal numbers in many parts of the world, for example numbers in the USA, one of the world’s biggest beef trader, are significantly down on stock as a result of the drought in 2011.

This worldwide shortfall will limit where domestic and international buyers could seek alternative supplies. “There is a tight supply everywhere, so prices will remain firm; there will be no cheap beef for the EU market. However, with consumer confidence remaining fragile, farmgate prices may be constrained by consumers’ willingness to pay higher retail prices.”

The audience consensus was that the supply and price equation certainly points to opportunity for those with cattle to fatten and finish, as well as those selling stores. However the high price of feed is still a big concern as is the outcome of the CAP reform, which is making many reticent to invest in upping cow numbers.

The Bank of Scotland and Keenan focused their discussions on the need for improved efficiency in production to give the confidence that good margins can still be made independent of the single farm payment.

“The rise in beef price since August 2009 has been 17%; over the same period feed wheat prices have increased by 76%, so what can farmers do to capture the value that we’re seeing in rising sale prices, whilst insulating yourselves from these increases in input costs?” Sandy Hay from the Bank of Scotland asked.

Mr Hay said production efficiency equates directly to business efficiency, which gives the bank’s enhanced confidence in lending to farmers looking to capitalise on the undoubted domestic and export opportunities. “The QMS average for feed plus forage cost is 50%, a 10% reduction in costs would give a net margin improvement per finisher of £22.31 whilst a 10% reduction in feeding days from the QMS average of 221 days to 199 days would yield an improvement of £20.65 per head.”

In addition to feed costs and feeding days, Mr Hay suggested that it was imperative that producers should also focus their attention on feed conversion efficiency (FCE) – “an improvement in FCE from the average of 182kg gain/tonne of feed up to 200kg gain/tonne of feed would yield another £16.72/head. The combination of a 10% improvement in all three areas would be £59.68/head.”

Keenan’s Robert Gilchrist said that feeding the Keenan Mech-Fiber System way is all about driving efficiency improvements.  “The average improvement for beef finishing units using the System is £47/head based on feeding a similar ration but presenting it in a more physically effective manner. This improves rumen function and, in turn, animal performance.”

He explained that FCE is one of the most important measures for any livestock farmer; it is widely used by pig and poultry farmers but should also be the focus of beef farmers. “The measure of feed conversion efficiency is kilos of liveweight gain per tonne of dry matter fed. This means that if feed is costing £150/tonne of dry matter and you were to improve your FCE by 10% from 100 to 110, the cost per kilo would fall by 14 pence.”

“Achieving marked improvements in FCE is our goal and it boils down to the physically effective mix that you get from the Keenan,” he explained. “The Mech-Fiber as we call it encourages the animal to chew the cud for longer, slowing the passage of feed through the rumen and improving the level of digestion.” He added that the other real gain for first time Keenan users is that for many it gives them very accurate feed intake and cost information for the first time. “If you can’t measure it, how do you know how you’re doing?”

Stuart Ashworth concluded that there is certainly opportunity for beef producers going forward, but the one thing that would give them the confidence they need to invest for the future is improving their production efficiency.

David Leggat, Executive Chairman of United Auctions, who chaired the largest seminar, held at Stirling Agricultural Centre, said: “Numbers of store cattle forward at our weekly sales are well ahead of last year due to prevailing buoyant prices and also a shortage of bedding and feed stuffs in some areas. This is likely to mean a reduction of numbers in April, the traditional time for buying store cattle for the grass. “

-ENDS-

For more information, please contact:

Jane Craigie, Jane Craigie Marketing on 01466 780078 / 07795 278767

jane@janecraigie.com

Or

On behalf of United Auctions:

Jenny Kumar, JK Consultancy on 07989 557198 / jenny@jkconsultancy.com