Well attended Limousin club meeting

James Mckay and Henry Savage receive their honorary lifetime membership aards from Iain Kerr and Alan Geary of the Limousin Society
James Mckay and Henry Savage receive their honorary lifetime membership aards from Iain Kerr and Alan Geary of the Limousin Society

The Northern Irish Limousin Cattle Club held a successful meeting on Wednesday 5 July with a fantastic turnout of around 100 members.

Congratulations on the evening were given to Henry Savage, Trueman herd and James McKay, Ampertaine herd for achieving and being presented with an Honorary Lifetime Club Membership medal.

For both members this is in acknowledgement of their many successes over the years and contributions to the Club and Limousin production in Northern Ireland. 

Iain Kerr and Alison Glasgow from the Limousin Society presented an update on Society business and the new developments for all commercial Limousin producers that are taking shape with the ongoing roll out of the Society’s Breed Improvement Plan (BIP), details of which can be found on the website.

In her presentation Alison demonstrated how the component parts of the plan are starting to come together and, if adopted by producers, have the potential to start adding up to meaningful value.  The whole driver behind the BIP is to provide a breed with genetics that are ‘market-ready’.

As such, having tools to identify the characteristics that commercial producers will need to respond to the constant change in market specification, and a population of animals that are capable of delivering to whatever new spec comes in to play. 

She highlighted how the work completed thus far is part of a larger plan with new things on the horizon. Completion of the 10 year ambitious plan will ensure the breed is ready to serve industry now and be future-proofed, so far as possible, for what lies ahead. 

The Female Fertility GEBVs, Feed Efficiency, Carcase Trait GEBVs and Myostatin all generated good discussion and ideas on wider plans for the future.

Meanwhile, The first Maternal GEBVs were released on Friday 14 July.

Following closely behind the introduction of Carcase Trait GEBVs last year, this development represents another important milestone for all users of Limousin genetics and reinforces the breed’s commitment to delivering performance within the sector.

The traits focus on key economic drivers; Age to First Calving, Calving Interval, Cow Longevity and Calf Survival. All are critically important as the industry continues to move to one being driven even more by efficiency and profitability. 

The delivery of these GEBV’s represents achievement of another major goal of the BLCS’ Breeding Improvement Plan, the objective of which is to invest in targeted areas of the breed’s performance to ensure it delivers market-focussed genetics.  

The pathway these new GEBV’s offer delivers a valuable opportunity to investigate and find breeding solutions for traits that have not been possible until now.

Further development for the breed in to areas such as feed efficiency, meat quality and animal health are now possible and ongoing.

John Phillips, Chairman of the BLCS commented: “Producer investment in the breed must yield a return and, through the ongoing roll-out of this Improvement Plan, the Society’s objectives are firmly anchored around this principal.”

The GEBVs can be viewed for individual animals and breeders by clicking on ‘Beef Search’ on the Limousin cattle database www.taurus.co.uk.

More information can be found for all Limousin EBVs and GEBVs on the Limousin website www.limousin.co.uk, click on ‘Performance Programmes’

The research was completed in partnership with SRUC and funded by InnovateUK and BBS.