Whitebred Shorthorn Roadshow 2012
Donald Hendry and Adrian Wheelwright kicked off a programme
of attending some of Scotlands west coast Agricultural Shows
during 2012 with stands at Salen, Portree, Lochaber and Dalmally.
Making a further attempt to raise awareness of the breed in
an area that used to provide many buyers for Whitebred Shorthorn
bulls, primarily for crossing with the native Highland cattle.
Historically the Highland x Whitebred was known as the "Crofter's
cow" producing sufficient milk to keep the crofter and
his family in milk and also rear a calf.
Lochaber and Dalmally Shows - Donald's Report
Adrian and I attended the Lochaber and Dalmally shows on successive
Saturdays. Response was good, particularly at the Lochaber
show. There is no doubting the value of keeping the breed name
in front of people. There are almost certainly going to be
a few new Whitebred Shorthorn users following the Road Shows.
I was at a Monitor Farm meeting on Mull last Thursday and
the host farmer is now talking about a bull for his Highland
heifers - his neighbour bought one this spring at Lochdochart,
a new customer.
Unfortunately the increasingly popular Native Breeds female
sale in October in Oban is on the same day as the Newcastleton
Blue Grey heifer sale. Whitebred Shorthorn X Highland suckled
heifer calves have topped the Oban sale for the last two years.
I am taking the displays to Oban but had hoped to go to Newcastleton
as well. I have talked to the auctioneers and they will hopefully
liaise next year on dates. I had a frustrated buyer on the
stand at Dalmally wanting to attend both and trying to make
his mind up which to go to.
Salen & Portree Shows - Donald's Report
13th August 2012
Attendances were good at both shows, benefitting from some
excellent weather. We had a steady flow of interested visitors
to the stands and almost certainly several very keen prospective
buyers. I think the BIG value coming from the effort was raising
awareness, firstly that the breed exists and secondly that
there are quality bulls available. (It's amazing how many
of the younger farmer's don't even know the Whitebred Shorthorn
is a breed in it's own right). Keeping that name "Whitebred
Shorthorn" under their noses is the number one priority!
The stand is a very visual representation of the breed and
most of the visitors commented on the quality and attractiveness
of the stock. Farmers like to see pictures rather than read
lots of bumf! A big asset to these ventures to small shows
is the new banners, part funded by a grant from the RBST, which
makes transporting promotional material much easier.
At both shows I had visitors who had recently bought Whitebred
Shorthorn bulls. (There are two new bulls on Mull and one
on Skye). I
also heard a big unit in Morvern that have just bought a
Whitebred Shorthrn bull. They have all gone to cross with Highlanders
and have gone to well respected breeders in the Highland world.
Others WILL follow.
Farmers are gregarious and follow trends - there is no doubt
the Whitebred Shorthorn is being talked of favourably again,
as fodder and feed prices rocket in the more remote uplands.
The first cross calves are much in demand and we must keep
the momentum going now.