Peter Donger was delighted to be appointed as the president of the British Charolais Cattle Society at the annual general meeting held at the Livestock Event on 7th July, he succeeded Cyril Millar from Coleraine, Northern Ireland.
Mr Donger has represented the East Midlands region on the British Charolais Cattle Society Council of Management and was elected society chairman in 2001.
“The herd are members of the Premium Cattle health Scheme and is vaccinated against Leptospirosis and BVD. All heifers are sentinel tested for BVD and rotavirus vaccine is administered six weeks before calving to all pregnant females. The herd is also performance recorded through Breedplan to identify the genetic progress of the various traits within the herd.”Peter Donger, President, British Charolais Cattle Society
A well-respected and accomplished Charolais judge, Mr Donger has judged Charolais cattle throughout the UK and internationally including France, Hungary and Canada.
Mr Donger and his wife Sheelagh along with their family run the Seawell herd near Towcester, Northamptonshire. At 500ft above sea level the farm has grown to 1,750 acres and is a mixed farm producing wheat, barley, rape, peas and grass, consequently apart from mineral supplements the farm is self-sufficient for cattle feed.
A former commercial beef finisher, Mr Donger started his Charolais herd with cows purchased at Banbury Market from Lady Blacker’s Whitchurch herd and now registers 100 Charolais calves per year as well as using his carefully selected Charolais bulls on a portion of his 250 strong Salers suckler herd.
He selects bulls by a combination of looks, calving figures, structural soundness and pedigree and the herd runs nine stock bulls which includes a recently imported French polled bull.
Approximately 90% of the Charolais females calve over a 12 week period in spring with the remaining 10% in the autumn.
Finished cattle and Charolais cross Salers stores are sold through Newark Market, with around 50 breeding bulls from both breeds per year being sold from the yard with plenty of return customers.
Mr Donger commented: “The herd are members of the Premium Cattle health Scheme and is vaccinated against Leptospirosis and BVD. All heifers are sentinel tested for BVD and rotavirus vaccine is administered six weeks before calving to all pregnant females. The herd is also performance recorded through Breedplan to identify the genetic progress of the various traits within the herd.”
This year has brought considerable show ring success for the Donger’s who were awarded the interbreed championship at the Newark and Notts County Show and breed champion at the Royal Three Counties Show with Maerdy Flambeau. Flambeau was joined with Balbithan Iona and won the Burke Trophy at the same show which was the fourth occasion the Donger’s have exhibited cattle in a winning Burke Trophy team. Flambeau was purchased at Stirling in 2012 for 20,000gns.
Mr Donger said: “If you are prepared to pay a good price for a bull you had better be prepared to use him and the fact that there are already 80 of his calves on the ground is testament to this.
“I have used Charolais now for nearly 40 years which tells you that I believe they are the best terminal sire which no other breed can touch for conformation, fast finishing and efficiency. Going forward we will continue to prioritise emphasis on the maternal traits to produce calves which are easily born yet will have the production traits to meet the required market specification.”
During his term in office Peter is looking forward to visiting various Charolais events throughout the UK and some of the major overseas Charolais events.