Youth Development Programme

Aberdeen Angus Youth Development Programme - Not Just for Angus Breeders

The British Blue Cattle Society offers a Youth Development Programme, in conjunction with the Aberdeen Angus Cattle Society.

It’s not just for Angus breeders it’s for anyone aged 8-24 who has an interest in cattle, with the main aim of the programme to raise the skill level and confidence of young people, they can work towards an industry recognised award and have a lot of fun along the way. We do this through workshops and a weekend event.

The workshops are where some of the top stock men and women give away some of the secrets to their success, there are lots of tips for preparing cattle for show and sale, stock judging (not only a good way to get kids to form their own opinion but having to speak in front of people does a lot to bolster confidence) We do work on Angus farms but our trainers come from all manner of backgrounds – we want the best trainers regardless of what cattle they keep and it also throws up different ideas as well.

Workshop dates and Locations for 2015:
18th April – East Anglia (Suffolk)
26th April – Central England (Oxfordshire)
2nd May – South West England (Devon)
16th May – South East England (Berkshire)
30th May – North of Scotland (Aberdeenshire)
28th June – England/Wales Border (Gloucestershire)
24th July – Republic of Ireland (Co Leitrim)
25th July – Republic of Ireland (Co Cork)
2nd August – Scottish Borders (Selkirk)
8th August – Northern Ireland (Co Fermanagh)
9th August – South West Scotland (Wigtownshire)
16th August – North of England (Yorkshire)

This year we have added some new initiatives – firstly a Senior Conference called ‘Beefing up the YDP’ This is aimed at those participants over 17 that want to know a little more about a wider range of subjects to do with farming. This conference (taking place in March) has been kindly sponsored by Dawn Meats and has a great list of speakers:

  • Understanding market specifications and relevance to breeding decisions – Sarah Haire, Dawn Meats
  • Cattle fertility – Duncan Findlay, Vale Veterinary Group
  • Suckler cow production – Mary Vickers, EBLEX
  • Clipping masterclass – Andrew Hughes
  • Safe driving – Ali Baker
  • Grassland management – Charlie Morgan, Grassmaster Ltd
  • Safe animal handling practices – Miriam Parker, Livestock Wise Ltd
  • EBV’s versus the stockman’s eye – discussion panel with Rob Bishop, William Haire and Genus
  • After dinner speaker – Paul Westaway – Melview Angus, Sterling Sires and Paul and Kirsty’s Nights In

***Alongside the conference, the Society is also pleased to announce a new qualification for the Programme. Working in conjunction with Duchy College, a City & Guilds qualification will be awarded to 16-18 year olds and 19-24 year olds to those that complete the workshops and online course work.

Our weekend event is one of the things we are most proud of, where participants come along and get some education on subjects that might help them in the future and also we have a competition. (The participants are assessed at the workshops and those that score well are invited to compete at the final although anyone can attend the weekend event if they came to a workshop) the finalists are put through their paces in ring craft, dressing and stock judging and the Seniors undertake a panel interview. We have a fantastic prize fund of £2500 on offer at this event and the winner of the senior section wins a scholarship abroad. In the last 5 years the winners have been to Canada, Brazil, Argentina and New Zealand.

We have also sent a team of 4 to compete in New Zealand in an international Junior Competition and we have also given away a heifer in a raffle for all those that attended a workshop which was a fabulous start for one young man’s herd.

The aim of the programme is to get and keep young people interested in the industry. Whilst it does centre a lot around showing, it is also about building up confidence with cattle and for those that are keen to get started but don’t have access to a farm, then it is a foot in the door.

Take a look at what we do on our Society page –

For more information contact: -
Gayle Bersey
Youth Develoment Co-ordinator
Aberdeen Angus Cattle Society
Tel: 01503 240478