New presidential and council members at the Aberdeen Angus Cattle Society

Angela McGregor speaking at the 2017 World Angus Forum
Angela McGregor speaking at the 2017 World Angus Forum

Angela McGregor of Whiterashes in Aberdeen has stepped in to the role of president at the Aberdeen Angus Cattle Society, replacing outgoing president Alex Sanger of Rosemount Farms in Montrose.

Having held the position of senior vice president, Ms McGregor makes the natural progression to her current position which she will hold for a 12 month tenure.

Paul Jeenes of Grandon Manor Farm in Somerset will take up the role of senior vice president, with his former position of junior vice president being filled by Alan Cheney of Co Tyrone in Northern Ireland.

Angela is the first female president at the society since Marion Tilson in 2004

She said: "I feel very privileged to become president, following some great breeders whom I have grown up admiring incredibly. As a president we are in an honoured position, but it’s those around you that make being on council worthwhile.

"It’s the work that happens every day in the office and on the farm, plus at the sales and shows that helps develop the business and breed. You meet many interesting people, learn a huge amount about what is going on in the industry and the world of science, and can see that the future is very exciting."

Angela comes from a family with a rich background in Aberdeen Angus cattle breeding and currently oversees the operation at the Newcairnie herd.

Her grandfather previously owned the Murdochcairnie Aberdeen Angus herd, and her uncle farms the Ardcairnie herd of Angus in Western Australia.

Angela’s father, also a past president, saw the true attributes of the pure Aberdeen Angus as a commercial animal and expanded his Newcairnie Herd to exploit these characteristics.

Speaking of her plans for the society and some key concentration points during her presidency, she said: "We understand the society is about the membership and it is our job to provide not only the administration to maintain the integrity of our breed, but to look at the opportunities to grow and to continue to make Aberdeen Angus the number one choice for the beef producer.

"We had the World Angus Forum last year in the UK and Ireland, which was a great success and involved some wonderful knowledge sharing opportunities and the chance to learn about what other countries are doing, how they are embracing technology to aid them in production and their thoughts on the future direction for the breed.

"As a society and council we will aim to continue to improve communication to members and aid the membership by providing support at shows, open days and publicising the breed.

"We want to continue to develop our good relationships with processors and retailers, and we’re keen to explore opportunities to get closer to the consumer through providing support to small independent retailers that do such a good job selling our beef to the end customer.

"I’m keen to ensure that people see the true attributes of the Aberdeen Angus. There is more to the breed than a premium, the Aberdeen Angus cow is a true commercial animal. Pure Aberdeen Angus can perform just as well as any cross bred animals, it’s about using them for what they’re good at, and that is producing top quality beef efficiently on a low cost system."

Ms McGregor enters her presidency with a strong background on all fronts, from on-farm practicalities, working for a farmer co-operative and spending a significant period working in meat wholesale, to retailing directly for the past 15 years, equipping her with a diverse knowledge of the whole process.

The society has also introduced a selection of new members on to their council off the back of their AGM which took place on Sunday 4th February. Joining the existing council team are Ken Howie, Ben Marsden, John James, Terry Ives and Louis Byrne.

Speaking of the council which is in place, Angela McGregor has said: "The council that have been elected to stand this year has great strength in depth in terms of business knowledge and experience, and without exception, have a passion to take Aberdeen Angus forward as a breed and brand. We are now at a point to build a strong, forward-thinking future."