Beef Technical Field Tour
The “Coos ‘an Castles tour” Nuffield Scotland would like to welcome you to the city of Perth to visit some of Scotland’s premier beef producers. We look forward to dishing out some Highland hospitality and showing you around some of the stunning scenery and history that Perthshire has to offer.
Travel from York by train to the Royal George Hotel, Perth. Welcome dinner with after-dinner speaker/comedian. (www.theroyalgeorgehotel.co.uk)
Highland Wagyu - Mohsin Altajir
Currently one of the most talked about developments in the Scottish beef industry, Highland Wagyu is a pedigree beef company breeding 100% Wagyu beef, along with Wagyu crosses, Aberdeen Angus, Shorthorn, Highland and Dexter cattle, on a 25,000-acre estate in Perthshire. They are the largest producer of Wagyu cattle in the UK and on course to becoming the biggest in Europe. Established in 2011 by husband and wife team, Mohsin Altajir and Martine Chapman, they sell Wagyu beef directly to private customers, with their meat being used by 60 Michelin-starred restaurants. Steers are slaughtered at three years old with carcases averaging £8,000. (www.wagyu.co.uk)
Falleninch - Andrew Hornall
The Falleninch Herd of pedigree Charolais cattle graze in the shadow of Stirling Castle and within the boundaries of the city of Stirling. In addition to breeding Charolais, the Hornall family also run a food service company providing quality beef and foodstuffs to hotels, restaurants, outside caterers and wholesalers across Central Scotland. Andrew Hornall is Vice Chairman of the British Charolais Society and Director of the Highland Show. His on-farm butchers shop, which opened two years ago and has the spectacular backdrop of Stirling Castle, will host lunch on the day. (www.falleninchcharolais.com)
Netherton Angus - William McClaren
The Netherton herd of pedigree Aberdeen-Angus was founded in 1924 and has successfully exported bulls and genetics all over the world. Right from the herd’s conception, the aim was to breed good commercial bulls with good breed character and performance to match. The focus today is a modern-frame-type animal with a high beef retail yield, combined with the Angus breed characteristics of docility, longevity, length and locomotion. Herd owner, William McClaren is Chairman of the Aberdeen Angus Cattle Society. He is also consultant for Highland Wagyu and responsible for overseeing the farming of 25,000 acres in Perthshire. (www.nethertonangus.co.uk)
Balthayock - Major David Walter
Family-owned since 1894, Balthayock is one of the top Scottish Charolais herds selling 30 bulls each year with a target average of £10,000 each. Last year’s top bull was Junior and Junior Interbreed Champion Male at the Highland Show. Now in his 80s, herd owner Major David Walter is a highly experienced breeder and has long been an advocate of using EBVs as the first step in deciding his breeding policy. He has some of the best performance index figures in the country for Terminal Sire and Breeding Replacement. (www.balthayock.com)
Lunch will be held at Balthayock Castle, a building that dates back to 1148.
Incheoch - Neil McGowan
The McGowan family farm, Incheoch, straddles the border between Perthshire and Angus. The 1,200-acre farm is today run by 2014 Scholar, Neil McGowan, who stocks a herd of 220 suckler cows and 1,000 ewes, including the Dirnanean herds of Luing and Simmental and the Incheoch flocks of Lleyn and Texel. With an ability to thrive on third-class land and turn out first class calves, the Luing herd is well suited to the conditions of this upland unit. Neil was one of the first Scottish ram producers to move to an annual, one day ‘Working Genes’ on-farm sale and has plans to do the same with cattle. (www.incheochfarm.co.uk)
Evening Ceilidh and farewell dinner at the Royal George Hotel.
Grahams Dairies - Robert Graham
Graham’s The Family Dairy is Scotland’s largest independent dairy, producing an award winning range of milk, butter, cream, ice cream, sour cream, cottage cheese, quark and cheddar cheese, as well as Graham’s Gold Jersey range. Their products are sold the length and breadth of the country via more than 6,000 customers, including the major supermarkets in Scotland and some south of the border. More than half of Scotland’s population currently buy products from this family business which has grown through three generations of dairy farmers, since setting up in the Bridge of Allan, Nairn, in 1939. Today, Managing Director, Robert Graham also indulges in his award-winning show herd of 50 pedigree Limousins. (www.grahamsfamilydairy.com)
Concluding the tour programme is a group visit to Stirling Castle, one of Scotland’s grandest castles due to its imposing position and impressive architecture. It is undoubtedly one of the most dramatic settings for any of Scotland’s castles.