A well-known breeder from the north has been named president of the British Simmental Cattle Society.
Stewart Stronach, who runs the renowned Islavale herd with family, was appointed to the role at a virtual annual general meeting for the society.
He has been a member of the society’s council since 2013 and most recently served as vice-president of the society and chairman of shows and sales in the north.
He will serve for a two-year term and replaces Lancashire breeder Michael Barlow, who runs the Denizes herd.
“It’s a great honour to have been elected as the society’s 26th president and in what is the breed and society’s 50th year in the UK,” said Mr Stronach.
He said he wanted the society to be commercially focused, urging all breeders to cull hard and be selective in their breeding to ensure quality across the national herdbook.
“British Simmental is established as one of the most influential and profitable breeds in the beef industry and has all the attributes to be a maternal mainstay of the commercial suckler herd in geographies across the UK,” added Mr Stronach.
“Efficiency is our strength in so many ways.
“Simmentals are versatile; complement all breeds; are easy calving, maternal milky mothers; produce beef from grass and are easy fleshing; are fast growing with terrific weight for age; and are long lasting functional cattle. These are the efficiencies beef producers and the modern industry are looking for and is what the Simmental breed can deliver.”
He said communicating the benefits of the breed would be a key focus during his time as president.
“We will continue to work hard to engage with breeders, commercial beef producers, Simmental buyers, and all levels of the industry, to produce the type and quality of cattle they are looking for,” added Mr Stronach.
“If we continue to do this and highlight the breed’s efficiencies and profitability, I feel there is a ready demand for Simmental cattle and a bright future ahead.”
Stewart is the fourth generation of Stronachs to farm at Maisley, near Keith, where he is based with partner Fiona Sutherland and their family, including Michael, Ellie, Lauren, Aimee and Emma.
Along with Fiona and Michael, the farming partnership includes Stewart’s parents, Stewart Sr and Hazel, who stay at Berryleys Farm.
The 160-cow Islavale herd, established in the early 1980s, regularly achieves top prices and has sold bulls to 24,000gn.
Other changes announced at the society’s virtual meeting include the appointment of Perthshire breeder Adrian Ivory, who runs the Strathisla herd, to its council.