New head of cattle society aims to promote breed performance

First published in Farming Darlington and Stockton Times: Photograph of the Author by

STEVEN Nesbitt has been elected chairman of the British Charolais Cattle Society.

The pedigree breeder from Winston, near Darlington, succeeds Alasdair Houston, of Gretna Green, who completed his two-year term of office.

Mr Nesbitt established the Alwent herd on his family’s 200-acre mixed farm 35 years ago. Since then it has consolidated to 20 breeding cows with an increasing poll influence.

Its successful sires including Alwent Goldbar, Alwent Hercules, and the homozygous poll Alwent Hitman, all of which have been sold to global AI studs in the last 18 months.

Earlier this year Alwent Hulk made 7,800gns at Stirling, the highest priced poll bull sold through the centre.

Mr Nesbitt was honoured to be elected chairman of such an important breed society. He said: “Succeeding our outgoing chairman will be a hard act to follow however I am determined to keep the breed at the forefront by promoting its performance, and subsequent financial benefits, far and wide throughout the cattle sector.

“Charolais is the best terminal sire suckler men could possibly use and my goal is to see an increase in market share in terms of crossbred calves born annually.

“Equally, I believe that breeders must continue the Charolais quest to select carefully using Breedplan data to improve calving ease and also milk, growth will then follow naturally. I would like society members to remain open minded and to look further afield for new genetics.”

Mr Nesbitt is also keen to develop Charolais Youth, the society’s new club for under- 26-year-olds.

Outgoing chairman Mr Houston said the society’s council of management had introduced a range of measures to give buyers of Charolais bulls “even more confidence that they are buying the most robustly validated beef breed in the UK.

“I believe we have achieved a lot in the last two years and have a clear vision and determination which will continue to take the breed forward.”

Mervyn Parker of the Bassingbourn herd, Cambridgeshire, was elected society president after stepping down as treasurer after 12 years.

The new vice chairman is Andrew Hornall of the Falleninch herd based near Stirling; Graham Robinson of the Stockhill herd, Peterborough, is the new treasurer and Chris Curry and Andrew Sellick were elected to the council of management to represent Northern England.

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