COUNCIL UPDATE December 2018

By Suffolk Sheep Society 22nd March, 2019

As you can appreciate, there are a wide range of issues and matters discussed at Society Council meetings, many of which are either confidential or commercially sensitive. The following is an update of relevant matters and discussions arising from the December 2018 Council Meeting which can be shared on a public forum.

Council Meeting Edinburgh Marriott Hotel – Wednesday, 12th December 2018

As you can appreciate, there are a wide range of issues and matters discussed at Society Council meetings, many of which are either confidential or commercially sensitive. The following is an update of relevant matters and discussions arising from the December 2018 Council Meeting which can be shared on a public forum.

Present

Ron Greig (Chairman), Michael Weaver (Vice Chairman), Campbell Watson (President), Liz Needham (Past President), Susan O'Keeffe (President Elect), Lester Peel, Anne Mitchell, Diana Lindon, Sheila Eggleston, Liz Needham, Nigel Towns, Scott Brown, Ivan Porter, Iain Barbour, Andrew Reed, Joe Stewart, Keith Denby, Robin McIlrath (CEO), and  Anna McCullough (Office Administrator)

Jane Soulsby (Keith Denby attending in her place), Stephen Govin

Judges Panel Review  It was agreed that Branches would review the members from their area who are currently on the judges panel.

Correspondence on Genotype Tests - A letter had been received from a branch regarding DNA testing of rams purchased this year, the cost etc and would members get the results of the tests.  The Chief Executive confirmed that a genotype module was to be added to the Grassroots software to facilitate this. Following discussion, it was agreed that there will be sensitive information coming from the reports and that it would remain confidential. Breeders registering rams would be notified if any potential issues were identified.

Society Sales:

Dates of sales for 2019 are:

19th-20th July, Shrewsbury

25th-26th July, Stirling

30thJuly, Ballymena

3rd Aug, Carlisle

3rd/4thAugust the South of Ireland Branch Premier Sale, Blessington

 

Sales Levy Council agreed an increase in the levy at Society Sales from 1% to 1.5% to help cover the cost of increased photography costs.

Veterinary inspections Stirling The Chairman raised the issue of the veterinary inspections at Stirling and the level of dissatisfaction with the inspections and rejections. It was agreed that the Scottish Branch would approach Neil Laing who hadn't been available in 2018.

Hair Samples at Sales  Following discussion Council agreed that taking hair samples would continue but and that the best time to take these was during the inspections, however, it was to be made clear to breeders that additional samples could be taken at any time up to and including sheep leaving the sales ring.

CEO Update

Office update – the CEO highlighted the disruption in the Society Office as a result of maternity leave, resignations and having to use temporary part time staff. He was pleased to report that there will be more continuity with the appointment of Anna McCullough who started on the 15th October 2018, the return of Margo Graham from maternity leave on the 7th January 2019. Margo is returning on a part-time basis, and confirmed the appointment of Katie Allen (part-time) to supplement Margo's hours.

Genomics –The focus was on parentage testing however there are other benefits in the reports. 

Testing of Rams for Mainland Europe - Following a discussion on the testing and registering rams going to Europe, it was agreed that if they are not to be used in the National Flock society they don't need tested.

Yearbook – the Yearbook is well underway and will be mailed by the end of March 2019.

Flock Book – regarding the late distribution of the 2018 Flock Book the CEO said that Council were already aware that a delay was expected, however due to a number of other matters mainly, but not exclusively, issues with the printer it was later than planned. There are less than 300 flock books now purchased. He committed to having the 2019 Flock Book distributed by the end of June 2019.  When asked if the Society should continue to produce a Flock Book in its current format, Robin stated his opinion was that it should stay as it is part of the history and heritage of the Society. There is also a legal requirement to provide two copies for the National Archives. As far as he is aware this is the only complete set apart from those held by the Society.

Summer Suffolks – 2nd edition was distributed this year on schedule. The CEO asked if it was required as the pics are often the same as the ones in next Yearbook. There was positive feedback and agreement that it was tangible evidence of the Society supporting the members. All agreed that it should stay as is. 

2019 Moving Forward – The CEO presented the key activities for 2019:

·         Developing Youth

·         Developing Commercial

·         Implement Grass Roots Enhancements:

o   Genotyping

o   Flock book downloads

·         Review Fees & Charges (present at August Council 2019)

Suffolk Youth – It was proposed that Andrea Gardiner should have her input recognised and she should be made Society Youth Officer (a volunteer position). All agreed.

Early Lambing Inspections - Council members would be circulated with papers in the next week and members notified that they were being inspected.  

Financial Review and Adoption of Accounts – the 2018 Annual Report and Accounts was proposed and adopted by Council for presentation at the AGM on 9th April 2019.

Commercial Committee - Scott Brown did a presentation. In this he highlighted the activities to take place over the next few months including the production of testimonials and short videos for use on social media, at shows and events, and Society sales etc. He also clearly set out the retail sector approach to lamb and emphasised the need to deliver what is required. His presentation was commended by Council. 

Proposed President Elect – The nomination for president elect rotates between England, N Ireland, South of Ireland and Scotland. As it is the turn of Scotland to propose the president elect for bringing to the AGM in April, Iain Barbour proposed William Fleming.

Peeling Sheep - following a discussion on peeling sheep, it was agreed to go back to branches and get a report from each, for discussion at the next council meeting.


1 Comments

Leave a comment