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BCBS Chairmans Report 2021 – AGM

By December 1, 2021January 30th, 2022News

Ladies and Gentlemen,

I would like to hold a moment’s silence to remember our members who have left us and gone to greener pastures. 

Peter Low, although a breeder of dairy cows, was a member of BCBS and a great supporter of the Boran, attending meetings and field days with Rick Hopcraft whenever he could. In fact shortly before he died he expressed a wish to dispose of his dairy herd and to replace them with a few Borans. Peter was Vice Chair of the KLBO for many years and a great proponent of all the forms of livestock recording and also our Senior Member for a couple of years. His wise counsel will be sorely missed.

Iralie Murray, while being a noted breeder of Angus and Holstein cattle, Hampshire sheep and horses, was also a great supporter of the Boran. I am sure that at least partially due to her encouragement, Lolomarik has been a stud breeder of Borans for many years and is unsurpassed in production of those fabulous Angus x Borans.  

Maria Dodds from Kifuku, who died last month. Maria, although not an active member, was a keen supporter of the breed. In spite of the opposition from Clive about registration, she started to breed up some good Borans, so that when George arrived back to run Kifuku, he already had a good foundation on which to build. Then in 2017, she fought like a lioness to preserve what was theirs and bring to world attention the problems that were visited on so many of our members. Whilst by no means the only one, I feel she has not received the recognition she deserves.

I would like to thank Gordon Murray for agreeing to take on the role of Senior Member in Peter’s place.

The Society has not held a physical AGM since the event two years ago in Koru. We did hold a much delayed virtual AGM in May this year to cover the year 2019/2020. I appreciate this was not very satisfactory as the dinosaurs among us struggled with answering the questions posed, for which I apologise.  Let us hope that it will not be necessary to repeat the exercise.

Although we have held no events that included all members we have made collections and not spent very much, which explains our healthier than normal financial position. Perhaps Covid has had some benefits! Thank you to those of our members who paid their subscriptions and to those who pay the Boran Promotion Levy. This income is essential to us if we are to continue as a Society.

Last November, Mogwooni hosted an Inspectors Field Day. My thanks to Jackie and Mandy Kenyon. As usual the Mogwooni cattle were a spectacle to behold. Some of our Senior Inspectors felt that we were becoming rather lax in our inspections, so it was a very useful day for revision. You can imagine, the discussion was animated. An independent onlooker commented that she never realised that a few bulls could cause as much dissent, or more, than is found in the horse riding community.

Over the last couple of years, we have been able to recruit a couple more members to the stud breeding fraternity. I am delighted that we are slowly increasing our membership in this regard and although not nearly as many as in some other countries, I like to think that our stud breeders are serious ranchers and farmers. We must not lose sight of the fact that we must breed animals for production, not just to look pretty.  

It is good to report that the Embryo Collection Centre at Ol Pejeta is at last collecting Boran embryos for export again. It has been a long wait but we hope it will be worthwhile for those breeders who have sent in cattle. Perhaps Giles or Richard can give us a brief report on that afterwards. 

Mark Taylor has been very busy in South Africa and Zimbabwe promoting the breed. My thanks to him and I hope he too, will brief us on that. I have no doubt he has been promoting his own stock and rightly so, but I am sure the benefit will accrue to the Society and other breeders in time. Certainly, more of us should be marketing our breeding more aggressively.

I imagine most of you will have heard about the moves to amalgamate several ranches in Laikipia into enlarged conservation areas. I am not so sure if we all know that Richard van Aardt has been appointed to head the livestock section for these. Richard, the best of luck to you as there will undoubtedly be conflict between keeping commercial cattle, helping pastoralists, dealing with conservation priorities and those of the private investors on each property. However, with experience gained at Ol Pejeta, it is hoped that you will be able to convince all the above varying interests about the need to keep cattle on these properties, not just for commercial reasons but also as a land management tool. There is a fair amount of degraded land and to regenerate it under those conditions, the Boran will be the obvious choice to use.

Registrations from July 2020 to June 2021 were:

Foundation – 104

Purebred – 331

Pedigree – 130

Total – 565

A total of 21 animals were transferred within Kenya plus 1 to Malawi and 10 to Uganda.

I am grateful to our trade sponsors who have come here today to support us. Please talk to them to see which of their products can be useful to yourselves. I would also like to thank Lord and Lady Delamere and Robin Boyd-Moss for allowing us to hold this event here and Giles Prettejohn for coordinating. It is many years since we have visited Soysambu, certainly since before 2004, and it is good to be able to return. Last but not least, my thanks as well to you, our members, for attending today and for your continuing support.

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Below are photos during the event