Lee Leachman at Brecon

After an evening spent in Llangollen, we all travelled down to Brecon, what a picturesque route to travel to show Lee and his wife Lisa the wonderful country Wales is.

Richard and Helen Roderick farming in partnership were hosts at Scethrog Farm, Brecon for the 2nd event in Lee Leachman’s 2019 UK trip.

The event was co hosted with Farming Connect, thank you to them for helping advertise the event and Sarah Hughes for her part in organising the day.

The cars and people kept arriving so signing in was quite a feat as we had over 100 attend on the day.

Sarah Hughes from Farming Connect welcomed everybody to Scethrog Farm and followed with a presentation on “Control of Docks in Grassland” this had been part of a project that Richard had been involved in with Farming Connect.

Sarah then introduced Richard Roderick who gave a presentation on his farm, where he was and how is has got to where he is today, Richard introduced the Stabiliser breed to his herd in 2013 with the purchase of a small group of heifers and an older bull to the present day of calving 83 in 2019 to the Stabiliser bull with 3 sets of twins, a first last year was a set of triplets which all survived.

As with all new to the breed Richard has been pleasantly surprised on all the attributes the Stabiliser breed brings into a herd, efficiencies of the cow, easy calving, ease of management, docility and especially the growth of the males for fattening. The bulls when slaughtered averaged 385kg at 13.7 mths. Why do you need a terminal sire when achieving these figures which are ideal for the required processor’s specifications?

Richard commented “I wished I had listened to Ursula who I have known for 20+ years, when she first started working for the Stabiliser Cattle Company”

Seth Wareing Business Manager for the Stabiliser Cattle Company followed giving an outline of the Stabiliser Cattle Company, when and how it was formed with Lee Leachman now being a non-Executive Director, he then explained about the efficiencies of the Stabiliser cow and what new areas we will be focusing on.

Last speaker of the day Lee Leachman, his inspiration and enthusiasm captivates the audience wherever he speaks, so as they say leave the best till last!!

Lee’s audience were captivated(as previously mentioned) as they always are he just manages to keep the enthusiasm and interest in his presentations, the 100 + strong attendees were glued to their seats with plenty of questions being thrown to the floor, as the previous day eating quality of beef was a major discussion, Lee joked that while over in the UK at evening meals when out who was going to gamble on choosing the beef on the menu ? As an industry we should pro-actively try and improve the eating quality of beef sold, too many bad eating experiences put the general public off eating beef.

A subject of great interest was feed efficiency, Lee has a slide on the “Tale of Two bulls”.

Same herd first bull weighs 565 kg VS the second weighing 555 kg at 400-day weight, so only 10kgs difference, quite acceptable.

BUT

First bull eats 7.7kg dm/day VS second bull eats 19.1 kgs of dry matter / day (4,148 kg / year).

First bull Converted 4 to 1 VS second converting at 10 to 1.

40% Heritable = 112 cows vs 75 cows on same grass.

Which bull’s daughters do you want?

A lot of interest was raised from this slide in wanting the feed efficient bulls for their herd sires.

Unfortunately, we had to interrupt Lee due to making sure we had time to view the Scethrog herd, Lee joined the visitors on the trailers around the farm and was never stopped being asked questions by all the interested parties on the route.

Travelling up some steep ground we viewed the cows with heifer calves and the cows with bull calves, both groups looked spectacular and only being in the breed for a short while Richard has made fantastic progress. The small group of in calf heifers looked well, other bulling heifers had been sold on for breeding to another farmer in the area, making it his first sale of breeding stock.

On returning to the yard, Richard’s wife Helen had kindly baked Welsh cakes and scones to add to the feast already available due to the larger numbers that had arrived. We would like to thank Richard and Helen for hosting this extremely well attended day where the interest and enthusiasm of the attendees was second to none and will hopefully bring interest when they have stock available to sell this next spring 2020.

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