Farm Roadshow with Lee Leachman
For those of you who are new to the Stabiliser breed, you may not know that every year we host a weeklong roadshow of Stabiliser Farm Walks during September. This is our favourite time of the year, as we get to show some of the best Stabiliser herds in the country.
This year is particularly special as not only do we have three exemplary farms to visit, but we will also be joined by Lee Leachman from Colorado, Lee is responsible for breeding all the Stabiliser cattle in the US and supplies us with new genetics annually. As the third biggest seedstock producer in the US, Lee has the knowledge and expertise in breeding quality cattle, and we can't wait for you to meet him. We are also being joined by AHDB, who have the most up to date market knowledge of the beef industry across the UK. We hope that in bringing both of these experts together we can have a really interesting conversation around profitable and efficient suckler beef.
When it comes to the host farmers, we have been very fortunate with the farms on display this year. To find out about each farm, read below.
Mon 11th Sept 2pm - Herefordshire
With Nigel Winney being our first destination, a third-generation tenant farmer located in Hereford Nigel has built up an exemplary herd of 130 cows. Selling a considerable amount of breeding stock locally, quality is always forefront of mind. Nigel’s approach focuses on self-sufficiency, producing what he can at home to finish home-bred cattle and lambs. When it comes to genetics Nigel has specifically selected strong maternal traits, focusing on ease of calving, milk and fertility. We also have Nigel’s vets joining us on the visit, Belmont Farm and Equine Vets. Nigel has worked closely with Belmont over the years to get his extremely high health status and with AI work.
Wed 13th Sept 11am - Northamptonshire
The second farm walk is Bragborough Hall which is managed by Tim Phipps in Daventry, Northants. Tims runs a large arable and beef enterprise, which encompasses 160 Stabiliser cows with all followers being fattened at home. For the past eight years, Tim has supplied Morrisons, who provide a premium for in-spec Stabiliser bulls. This relationship has led Bragborough Farms to become one of Morrisons Blueprint Beef Farms with the goal of achieving Net Zero. Specifically, the farm is researching how fertility and health can optimise optimal efficiency. Another project the farm is taking part in is looking at how using the correct genetics through sexed semen can promote a lower carbon footprint.
Thurs 14th Sept 11am - North Yorkshire
Our final farm tour is being held by Skelton Farms, which is managed by John Aynsley in Saltburn, North Yorkshire. John's system encompasses quality stockmanship, attention to detail, and embracing genetics, which we are sure played a part in his winning the Beef Farmer of the Year Award in 2022 (British Farming Awards). The closed head of 450 cattle started with Stabilisers back in 2012. Since then John has placed a huge emphasis on choosing stock not only on appearance but their EBVs. Utilising genomic testing across his entire herd has meant John can make informed breeding decisions sooner and continue to improve his herd.
If you can make any of the events please fill out the form at the bottom of the page. There will be food available, and the opportunity to try some tasty Stabiliser beef.
We are trying to produce beef that meets market specification and make the most profit possible. Using Stabilisers we are achieving our objectives, we have a low cost, low labour cow and good quality finishing cattle that meet the needs of the market.- Mel and Pete Momber, Hampshire
I’m excited by the prospects the Stabiliser can deliver for us. The proof was there based on scientific research, backed up by a large gene pool and precise management systems. It seemed the perfect breed for our farming system.- Will Evans, Machynlleth
On weaning in May at 10 mths old the Stabiliser calves were on par with the Blue and Angus calves. These were turned out to grass until early September then housed. This is when I was surprised by the differences between the breeds, the Angus averaged 480kg, the Blues 490kg but the Stabilisers were 530kg.- Robin Talbot, Laois – Ireland
In 2011 we bought 46 Stabiliser heifers plus 3 bulls and sold our 3 Belgium Blue bulls. The results were clear to see, by the time we pregnancy tested our 100 cows later that year. We went from historically having 15% barren cows to only 3% barren in a 9 week mating period.- Jeremy Iles, Gloucester
I have found Stabiliser cows to be very forage efficient. Their ability to put weight on in the summer months means I can save on winter feed costs. This has allowed me to keep more cows on the same resources.- Jono Cole, Cornwall
We have an easy-care system that is as profitable as any other beef enterprise. We benchmark our herd against the AHDB industry figure and we sit comfortably ahead of the top third performers. I believe we are now producing a carcass with the conformation and eating quality consistency that the market wants.- Dan Burling, Cambridgeshire
Docility, feed efficiency tested, easy calving, hybrid vigour, fertility, growth AND carcass traits from highly maternal cattle, what’s not like?- Robin Norrie, Fife
We aim to get most out of grass as possible. The hardy nature of the cattle seems to suit this system very well. Hardly any assistance is required during calving, combined with the excellent calf vigour produce healthy and strong calves which further reduces labour costs.- Llion and Sian Jones, Conwy
We’re over 10 years into our Stabiliser journey, we’re reaping the rewards. Moving to the Stabiliser has been a game changer for efficiency and job satisfaction, allowing us to increase cow numbers on the same area and finishing bulls averaging over 380kgs at 13 months. Our only regret is that we didn’t do it sooner!- Peter and Jackie Storrow, Pembrokeshire
Stabiliser cattle are a specialised suckler beef breed with the added bonus of hybrid vigour. The cattle are multi-trait performance recorded to produce EBV’s, this has a huge positive economical effect on our business. All of this is crucial for us to have a financially improving suckler herd on the farm.- Harri Parri, Llyn Peninsula
We chose the Stabiliser breed for their docility and easy calving traits, but with the added benefit of turning grass into meat. We soon saw all of these traits were true. Our first home bred steers were finished off grass at an average age of 19 months.- Dyfed Roberts, Anglesey
Despite our rainfall, we outwinter our cows on kale, the stabiliser cow will lay down excess fat, and successfully rear her calf. During the winter considerable cost savings are made. By changing to Stabiliser cattle I keep approximately 50% more cows as they only weigh 650Kgs, which meant more beef being produced.- Matthew Cooke, North Devon
We started using Stabiliser bulls 20 years ago. The fertility of the breed has enabled us to calve our own heifers at 24 months and reduce our calving period to nine weeks. This together with their good temperament has encouraged us to increase cow numbers. Consequently, the farm is now producing a lot more kilos of beef.- Edward and Ellis Griffith, Pwllheli
Minimal labour is required at calving time, with easy calving cows and calves up and suckling in no time at all. This gave us the ability to increase our cow numbers with no extra labour. The growth rate of Stabiliser cattle is exceptional, producing high weaning weights whilst converting feed efficiently.- John and Ianto Pari, Gwynedd
We started using stabiliser genetics in 2016, we have not looked back since, they exceeded all our expectations. Changing to stabilisers has enabled us to calve heifers at 2years old with no problems, cows wean a higher percentage of their body weight, we have increased cow numbers without any need for extra labour.- Carys Jones, Camarthenshire