Every animal forward at the Society's Spring Show & Sale at Worcester on Saturday 25 May was sold, with trade especially strong for bulls, with some would-be purchasers going home empty handed.
In the pre-sale show judge Sophie Gurton found her Champion in David & Angela Blockley's disbudded junior bull Southfield Spitfire who sold to John & Pat Stanley for 3000gns. Top price of the day went to Southfield Stalker, also a disbudded bull, selling to Mike Winterton for 4800gns.
Reserve Champion, Bertie Facon's junior heifer Gentons Sole sold to Richard Black for 2600 guineas.
Click here for the preliminary results and prices. A more detailed report and photos will be available soon.
Have you thought about standing for Council? A range of talents are required such as marketing and PR skills and business management experience so please don't think you just need to know about cows! Most members have real world experience outside their love of Longhorn cattle and it's these skills that will benefit Council and the Society as a whole.
Click here for a nomination form - give it some thought. The current Trustees would be more than happy to discuss the role with you as well.
The booking form for this year's Society AGM weekend is now available. We will be staying at the Priest House Hotel, Castle Donington, and our visit on Saturday 12 October will be to the Blackbrook Herd of Longhorns, by kind invitation of John and Pat Stanley.
We will return to the Blackbrook herd on Sunday 13 October for a morning of technical demonstrations and another opportunity to look round the cattle.
Click here for more information and the booking form
Click here for the link to the Priest House Hotel for more information on the variety of rooms available for members to book direct.
The results, prices and photos from the Society's Northern Sale at Beeston Castle are now available.
Congratulations to David & Graham Walker who took Champion with the bull Newton Boomshakalaka and Reserve with the junior heifer Newton Co Co Cabana
Click here for the results of the show and the sale prices
Click here for some photos in the Gallery
Click here for the catalogue
Longhorn member Richard Beeby and his partner Sarah Smart of the Starhire herd have launched a unique diversification project, with the Longhorn cattle providing a beautiful backdrop to their specialist venture.
'Imagine a peaceful place, birds singing, bees and butterflies in abundance, wild flowers moving in the breeze, and fresh countryside air. Now imagine that this is the venue for your funeral, or celebration of life.
Whilst the options for another of life's great events, the wedding, has evolved to offer almost any conceivable scenario from a pop star impersonator celebrant, to tying the knot underwater, it seems funerals, memorials, or celebrations of life remain traditionally held in churches, crematoriums, village halls or pubs.
What's more, whilst there are now ‘outside the box' options for what to do with cremation ashes, for example, painting the remains into a picture, making into jewellery, or shooting into the atmosphere by firework, there isn't much midway between the quirky and the traditional burial, scattering, or as many do, leaving them at the funeral directors, or worse, on a shelf in the garage!
With 75% of people in the UK now being cremated, and graveyards becoming full, an alternative is essential.
It seems though, as if this gap may about to be filled, by the building of a Round Barrow. On the Northamptonshire, Warwickshire, Oxfordshire border Richard and Sarah have taken the unusual step of opening up their working farm, to build a Barrow for ashes storage and to offer rural funerals.
Round Barrows or tumuli were first built in the UK around 5000 years ago, and can be found all over the country, a number being sited around Stone Henge. 5000 years ago they were erected over graves, but the modern ones offer individual niches for urns.
Richard and Sarah, owners of Mid-England Barrow said ‘the modern barrow offers a final resting place of peace and tranquility, built from locally sourced stone, handshaped to fit each and every spot. Inside its cool environment or aura, gives a breathtaking sense of mystery, and that rare feeling when a shiver goes down your spine'.
Sarah added ‘Having paid our respects at a farmer friends' non-religious funeral held at a crematorium, we decided a rural venue with the Barrow would be the basis of a new business for us.'
The individual niches, with completely personalised covers are built nestled into the walls by the skilled craftsmen who create these wonderful structures.
Mid-England Barrow has secured funding through the RPA's Rural Development Programme for England from the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development.
The city of Ripon in North Yorkshire has a long tradition of a hornblower 'setting the watch' each night at 9pm. Click here for a BBC news article about the ancient tradition.
A couple of years ago the Mayor of Ripon put a request out for a suitable cattle horn to make a new horn that could be used to continue the tradition, and the call was answered by Longhorn member Ruth Russell of the Settrington herd. Her bull, Settrington Quest had already made a name for himself when he starred in the 'Dads Army' film, but unfortunately he had to be put down and his horn was then used to make a new instrument to ensure the four current hornblowers had a horn each.
Click here for the press release explaining more about the process, and the handing over ceremony that will take place on Friday May 3rd to coincide with the Tour de Yorkshire cycle race passing through Ripon.
Photos of the ceremony will be posted after the event.
The Southfield herd of Longhorns belonging to David and Angela Blockley were hosts to personalities from the Great Yorkshire Show to publicise the launch of ticket sales and begin the Show's publicity drive in the run up to the event on 9-11 July. The Society has it's National Show at the Great Yorkshire Show this year.
Click here for the press release. Photo copyright GYS
From 1 May 2019 all bulls being fully registered with the Society will require full parentage testing. This will complement the existing parentage testing regime of each 100th heifer registered.
This means if the registration of the bull is time critical you will need to allow more time for the samples to be sent off and the registration to be finalised. You are more than welcome to send hair samples of bulls you may wish to register to the Society in advance, so the parentage can be verified before the registration form is sent in. If the bull is then registered the costs of the parent verification will be absorbed in the cost of the registration. If hair samples are submitted in advance but the bull is subsequently not registered then the member will be charged for the testing at cost.
The Society has been collecting DNA from bulls being registered since 2012 (around registration number 23000/) and it is hoped that most of these hair samples can be used to prove parentage, but the Society is moving from Microsatellite testing to SNIPS testing which requires a more robust sample. This may mean that repeat bull hair samples may be required.
Click here for an updated registration form which gives instructions of how to take the hair samples. Contact the office if you require sample bags - potentially three bags per registration - one for the bull being registered, one for his sire and one for his dam.
Notice of the dispersal of the Arndilly herd of pedigree Longhorn cattle, along with commercial Longhorn and Limousin cattle belonging to JP & P Grainger on Friday 26 April at Selby Market, Selby, Yorkshire, YO8 8NB. Sale commencing at 11.30am. Upwards of 250 head of cattle are offered for sale.
Click here for the catalogue of the pedigree Longhorn cattle.
Clive Roads will be guest auctioneer.
A unique opportunity to work with Longhorn cattle has become available at a member's farm near Oxford. Tim Thompson of Manor Farm, Hampton Gay, Oxford has been in touch with the Society. Tim says,
'We have now got to a point where we have started to build the herd numbers to a reasonable level. Our method of farming is low input, although the sales and other marketing do take time. We are Organic and 100% grass fed and the stock stay out all year. I'm looking for a herdsman young or old, that would like to help and take a share of what we produce. We direct sell all our meat either from the farm gate or into Oxford. There is a real opportunity for someone with the knowledge but no capital to become involved with a business that has already got off the ground. I'd love to give this opportunity to someone young and energetic with an entrepreneurial streak in them! We don't have accommodation on farm, but hopefully could find somewhere to rent locally.'
If this sounds like something you or someone you know would be interested in then get in touch with Tim using the link to the contact form below.
The English Longhorn Cattle Forum is a new initiative and is a great way to exchange ideas and information.
Current topics include how to get calves to that are slow to suckle up and running and what's the best packaging to insulate beef boxes to keep the product cool and fresh.
Have a look and see if you can help answer a question, or you might have a burning topic you'd like to discuss!
The Society's Summer visit is to English Farm Longhorns, English Farm, Nuffield, Nr Henley on Thames, Oxon, RG9 5TH on Saturday 10 August, by kind invitation of owner Robert Laycock and farm manager Silas Hedley-Lawrence.
The English Farm herd was founded in 2016 and is already gaining a strong reputation for it's beef in the local area. They have a strong social media presence and host a number of tasting evenings and farm events to encourage the public to engage with the animals as much as the fabulous beef. They also attend a number of Farmer's Markets in the local area and supply a local pub. The herd is organic and 100% grass-fed. They are Pasture For Life Association members adopting grazing practices such as mob grazing to improve soil carbon levels.
The farm is around 240 acres, mostly acidic loamy free draining soil that allows the cattle to stay out all year round. The farm has an onsite butchery where all their carcases are processed (around 2 per month at present).
English Farm featured as one of our 'Friday Feature' herd - see their profile in the Society Blog.
We will meet at the farm at 10.30 for refreshments, have a tour of the cattle and then a Longhorn Beef BBQ lunch at a cost of £10 per head. If you wish to attend, please let the office know before Friday 2 August.
The schedule and entry forms for the Great Yorkshire Show, which is hosting the National Show this year have been published and are available on the show website.
Click here for the link
The age ranges for the bull classes are incorrect and an amendment has been issued
Click here for the correct schedule pages for the Longhorn section.
The Midland Longhorn Breeders' Club have arranged a summer visit which will take place on Sunday June 30th in Northamptonshire.
Roger and Tom Elliott, were the Club's herd competition judges last year and have kindly invited the Club to visit their farming enterprise. The enterprise is spread over three main sites based around The Homestead all of which we are hoping to get round.
Roger and Tom farm 1500 acres, 350 owned and 1150 rented. They run
approximately 800 head of cattle, made up of 300 cows/heifers to calve
this year and another 80 heifers going to the bull. Breeding-wise they
have 60 pedigree South Devons (est 1988), 70 pedigree Shorthorns (est
2009), the rest of the herd is nearly all homebred with a mix of mainly
Shorthorn, South Devon, Salers and Angus cows.
All heifers calve at two years old to the Salers, 2nd calvers to the Angus, and after that Angus, Shorthorn, Limousin and British Blue are used.
All cattle are taken through to fat, usually killed between 14 & 20 months, with stores also purchased to finish.
Roger and Tom run 50 poll Dorsets lambing Sept/Oct, 800 NZ Romney/Lleyn ewes lambing outside in April.
Also 150 Suffolk, Charolais, Texel and Beltex to produce shearling rams to sell. The also have a few pedigree Welsh pigs.
There is also a butchers shop run alongside the farming enterprises, which has been in the family for 120 years!!
Contact Claire Saxby to register your interest - more details in due course.
The Northern Longhorn Breeders' Club have arranged a summer visit which will take place on Sunday 30th June 2019 at Raby Estate, Staindrop, Darlington, Co Durham DL2 3NF visiting the Raby herd of Longhorns.
The day will begin meeting at Raby Estate at 10.30am for tea/coffee to begin the tour of the Estate and Longhorn cattle around 11am.
There will be a lunch at a cost of £10 per person paid on the day and we will have a raffle for Club funds.
Anyone and everyone is welcome so if you are interested and able to attend this years summer visit at Raby then please let Graham Walker know numbers Friday 26th April 2019.
Email Graham on firstname.lastname@example.org
The NFU have produced a series of new infographics which set the record straight about how farmers protect the environment, care for their animals and provide nutritious food for the nation.
Click here for the link to download, save and share!
Have you ever wondered how big, or small, your farm's carbon footprint is? Grass based grazing systems are cited as being 'environmentally friendly' but do you actually know how your farm measures up?
The Farm Carbon Cutting Toolkit website has a Carbon Calculator that will help you answer these questions, and helps you improve your carbon footprint.
Click here for more information.
Ewan Mackintosh of the Little Oakley herd joined the Society's Type Classification Scheme last year. He has written about his reasons for joining, and his experience of having his cattle classified on our blog.
Click here for the link to the article.
If you are interested in having your cattle classified please get in touch - the booklet explaining the scheme is in the Knowledgebase, and the Society can put you in touch with other members who have had their cattle classified to chat the process through with someone who has 'been there, done that'.
Members who sign up to Type Classification in 2019 will receive a £5 credit on their account with the Society for each cow classified, provided all animals eligible for classification are put forward
A new series of The Farmers' Country Showdown is back on our screens and two episodes feature Longhorn Society members. Past Society Chairman Geoff Wild of the Riffhams herd is seen judging sheep at the Lambeth Country Show in Episode 6, and Kenny and Jennifer Gracey of the Forthill herd will be seen in Episode 13, competing for top honours at the Irish Game Fair.
Click here for the link to the programme page on the BBC website.