A group of 29 young livestock auctioneers from across England and Wales descended on North Wales recently to view the latest advancements taking place from the Genus ABS bull stud in Ruthin, gaining an invaluable insight into the future of AI and beef and dairy genetics.
The informative tour and presentation formed part of a two-day meeting of the Livestock Auctioneers’ Association’s (LAA) Next Generation Group, a committee established to represent younger auctioneers and fieldsmen working in livestock markets, as well as to connect with the younger generation of livestock farmers.
The highlight of the professional networking event was the visit to the Genus ABS bull stud in Ruthin, one of two premier bull studs in the UK, and home to some of its world-leading bulls.
James Hudson, UK operations manager at Genus ABS, led the Next Generation auctioneers through the tour of the AI bull stud, including a visit to the viewing facility showing the live collection of semen.
Mr Hudson also gave an informative presentation addressing the advancements of UK dairy genetics, and how this will shape the future of the industry, while also focusing on the technology and biosecurity involved at the specialist facility.
Zanna Dennis, LAA development officer explains: “The advancement of genetics plays a huge part in the future of our industry, and as auctioneers we see the direct results with the livestock we see through our markets.”
Almost three years in the planning due to Covid restrictions, this latest Next Generation Group team meeting was also the first official visit to Wales since the appointment of the new chair and vice chair of the Welsh Livestock Auctioneers’ Association (WLAA).
Simon Jones of Morgan Evans & Co Ltd, operating out of Gaerwen Auction Centre in Anglesey, was elected WLAA chair in June 2021, and is assisted by vice chair Katie Davies of McCartneys’ Knighton Livestock Market in Powys.
Both welcomed the visit, recognising the group’s key role in connecting with the younger generation of farmer and agricultural professional.
Russell Steer, chair of the LAA Next Generation Group says: “The event was very well attended by members from right across England and South Wales, as well as a strong presence of fresh faces from the North Wales area.”
The event concluded with the Next Generation Group committee meeting, in which members were invited to comment on industry issues, receive updates on the current work of the LAA, and to provide insights into innovative ideas for the future of the industry.
Mr Steer concludes: “This trip had been in the offing for almost three years and for it to be as well supported, educational and the overall success it was, is truly heart-warming and well worth the wait. We now look forward to our next event which will be the AGM, held in Oxford to coincide with the Thame Sheep Fair in early August.”