British Cattle Breeders Conference Attracts Exciting Line-up of Speakers

An exciting line-up of speakers has been booked for the forthcoming
British Cattle Breeders Club (BCBC) annual British Cattle Conference,
which will take place on January 23-25, 2017. ‘Practical Innovation –
Today’s Challenges for Tomorrow’s Generation’ is the theme which has
been chosen for 2017 by Conference chairman, Iain Kerr, who is also the
chief executive of the British Limousin Society. The event,
which is being held once again at the Telford Hotel and Golf Resort in
Shropshire, will see experts around the globe giving delegates an
insight into a variety of topics, including the latest technology for
improving profitability and the implications for cattle breeders

Founded in 1946, the British Cattle Breeders Club (BCBC) was formed to
promote the exchange of ideas on beef and dairy cattle production. Its
annual British Cattle Conference has become an important event in the
farming calendar, providing an opportunity to connect with some of the
industry’s leading scientists, specialists, veterinarians and best
practice farmers.

The post-Brexit panel discussion, entitled ‘Forging the Future in
Post-Brexit Britain,’ will take place on the Tuesday afternoon and is
expected to be one of the Conference highlights. Among the panellists is
Professor Nigel Scollan, the director of the Institute for Food Security
and an animal science specialist. He will be joined by George Lyon,
independent director of the AHDB, while Owen Paterson MP has been
provisionally booked as the third panellist.

Three eminent overseas speakers have accepted an invitation to speak at
the Conference; one is Alison Van Eenennaam of the University of
California, an internationally-recognised expert on gene editing who
will weigh up the pros and cons of the technique and explain its
relevance to the beef sector. Meanwhile, Jerry Wulf, of Minnesota, USA,
who has spent five decades building an integrated company which markets
50,000 commercial cattle a year, will describe all elements of his
production system, from genetics to consumer issues. The third overseas
speaker is Professor Theo Meuwissen, who has recently received the John
Carty award for the development of genomic selection and will be
travelling from Norway, to discuss whether genomics have been fully
exploited to date.

The BCBC committee, which organises the Conference, prides itself on
providing a wide-ranging mix of speakers and the programme always
contains presentations from some of the UK’s most forward-thinking
cattle producers. For 2017, Scotland’s Robert Veitch, who has been
recognised as having the first automated dairy farm in the country, has
been booked, along with 2015 ‘Beef Farmer of the Year’ award winner,
Meilir Jones.

Iain Kerr said:

“Since its inception, the BCBC has become a unique event, renowned for
its mix of practical, high quality speakers. With the future of cattle
breeding at heart, it links a wide spectrum of farmers, scientists,
students and industry influencers. BCBC is a fantastic forum to kick off
the New Year, challenging ideas, introducing new science and
technologies and providing the opportunity to meet people, stimulate
thought, debate and discuss. The 2017 BCBC Conference will of course be
the first since the Brexit vote and held in a year that will likely be a
formative one for UK agricultural and political history.

“We have seen over many years how cattle breeding has greatly benefitted
from the dynamic integration of science, new technologies, and
innovation. In this ‘new era’ I have no doubt that science and
innovation will never have been more important for farmers now and for
future generations. New thinking, and strengthening the ability to
innovate, will provide the advances and improvements that will increase
efficiencies and produce populations of animals that can respond to the
demands of a changing market place and deliver profitability.

“As we look to a market driven economy that will expect high levels of
production efficiency and will demand producer response to a wider
agenda of competing challenges such as climate change, health and animal
welfare, there is a need for us to examine whether the genetics we
propagate at herd and breed level will deliver what will be required.”

The British Cattle Conference extends a warm welcome to non-members,
although anyone with an interest in the UK cattle industry is encouraged
to join the BCBC; membership is £35 a year and includes a discount on
conference attendance fees. To book a place and for help with arranging
accommodation, please contact BCBC secretary, Heidi Bradbury 07966

More detailed information about the BCBC and the British Cattle
Conference can be found on the website,