2017-07-17  facebooktwitterrss

Charolais Cattle Society Welcomes New Chairman Chris Curry

Northumberland breeder Chris Curry who farms at Low Burradon near Thropton, was elected Chairman at the society’s recent AGM at The Royal Highland Show after joining the Society council in 2014.

Chris began breeding Charolais cattle in 1989 when he purchased Northfield Brigitte – great grandmother of Burradon Talisman – at the Christmas cracker sale. His Burradon herd now registers 40 Charolais calves a year and has enjoyed great success, including the sale of the aforementioned Burradon Talisman who was crowned supreme & intermediate champion at Carlisle in 2003 and sold for top price of 15,000gns to the Campbell family at Thrunton. Talisman went on to become one of the most influential British bred Charolais in the world with semen being sold to countries including Australia & Canada. Mr Curry’s sale highlight so far came in the spring of 2013 at Stirling when three sons of Gwenog Banjo sold to average 20,000gns.

Chris Curry

Chris Curry

The herd is a member of the SAC premier health scheme and is categorised level one for Johnes and clear of IBR, BVD and Lepto and in addition to his cattle, Chris and his wife Helen also manage a 200-strong commercial ewe flock, 1,600 laying Gressingham ducks and 140 acres of his 350-acre holding is taken up with arable producing wheat and barley. Mr Curry also works as funeral director and the family company has eight offices which cover the Northumberland region conducting 750 to 800 funerals per year.

Mr Curry has been on the Society judges list for the past five years and his most recent appointment was also one of his first outings as Society Chairman where he judged the National Charolais Show, held at the Great Yorkshire Show.

Mr Curry is looking forward to heading up the Society for the next two years and commented that
“The industry as whole is facing massive challenges in the face of Brexit with huge uncertainty around farm support but I have confidence that the Charolais breed is the one that will always do the business when margins are under pressure. A Charolais will outperform other breeds in any system and breeders have made great strides in recent years to provide the bulls that beef producers are wanting, the calving ease EBV for the breed has improved by 0.8% since 2007 when we introduced the Breedplan genetic evaluation system whilst performance has also continued to improve with 200 day and 400 day growth rates up by 4.0kgs and 8.0kgs respectively. Processors have tightened up the spec of the cattle that they are looking for and Charolais bred cattle can hit that spec quicker than any other breed.”

The Society’s new Vice Chairman is Ben Harman from Buckinghamshire, who has grown up with Charolais cattle and took over the running of his grandfather’s Chesham herd in 1993. Since then he has progressed the herd further by placing particular emphasis on genetic improvement based on performance recording. His commitment to genetic improvement was reflected in the fact that during his last term of office on the Society Council of Management he was elected Chairman of the Breedplan committee.


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