The 2017 annual British Cattle Breeders Club (BCBC) Cattle Conference was declared a resounding success, with feedback from delegates confirming that the programme was both thought-provoking and insightful. The event marked the occasion of the BCBC presidential handover, with Dr Maurice Bichard completing his six-year term and handing over to Professor Mike Coffey, of the SRUC (Scotland’s Rural College).
Dr Bichard an industry stalwart and former director of the Pig Improvement Company, said:
“Professor Coffey is driven and passionate about all aspects of livestock breeding, while retaining a strong commercial focus. Despite stepping down as president, I am keen to maintain connections within the industry and with the BCBC. The year 2018 will be the BCBC’s 70th anniversary and Professor Coffey is a highly appropriate choice for the new Club president.”
Professor Coffey responded:
“I would like to take the opportunity to thank Dr Bichard for his wise counsel, good humour and commitment to helping the Club to maintain a forward direction. He has always been technically-minded and kept our focus on science. I was honoured to be asked to become president of the BCBC and I am very much looking forward to taking on the role.”
Professor Mike Coffey is a Professor in livestock informatics at the SRUC, based in Edinburgh. He is one of the world’s leading breeding specialists and geneticists, with a particular interest in genomics. As well as lecturing at the College, Professor Coffey is involved in the development of new breeding tools and innovations for the management of farmed livestock and participates in a number of related research projects. He enjoys the challenge of ensuring that scientific research delivers immediate benefits for livestock farmers.
Outgoing BCBC chairman, Iain Kerr, who is the chief executive of the British Limousin Cattle Society, was succeeded by the new BCBC chairman, Andy Dodd, a former dairy farm manager who is currently the technical manager of breeding and fertility at AHDB Dairy (formerly DairyCo).
The British Cattle Conference ran from 23-25 January, under the theme ‘Practical Innovation – Today’s Challenges for Tomorrow’s Generation It took place at the Telford Hotel and Golf Resort in Shropshire. Experts from around the globe gave their views on a variety of topics linked to cattle breeding. The event was focused on beef cattle on Tuesday and dairy cattle on Wednesday, with approximately 260 delegates in attendance.
The BCBC wishes to thank the following sponsors for their support: Major sponsors: Asda; Afimilk; Waitrose Farming Partnership; AHDB Dairy; Mole Valley Farmers. Other sponsors: ABP UK; AHDB Beef and Lamb; Alltech; British Limousin Cattle Society; CIS; DairyPro; Dovecote Park; Egenes; ForFarmers; Hereford Cattle Society; Holstein UK; Merial Animal Health; MSD Animal Health; Neogen Europe; NMR; Shearwell Data Ltd; Shepherd Publishing; Shorthorn Cattle Society; SRUC; VikingGenetics; Zoetis.
The picture shows, l to r, Iain Kerr, Dr Maurice Bichard, Professor Mike Coffey and Andy Dodd