Suckler Beef - A practical guide to profitability” offers tips on every aspect of production
"This guide is one of the most concise and useful books on cattle production that I have ever encountered" - says Lee Leachman from Leachman Cattle of Colorado.
Its focus is simple: What is the most profitable model for beef production in the UK, and how do you build it? Based on a lifetime of astute observation by Richard Fuller, this book offers practical advice that has been proven in the field, not just studied in the classroom. For thousands of years, man has been captivated by breeding and improving cattle. In the early days, cattle represented valuable sources of milk, protein, and farm work while being an effective way to store wealth. Then came the modern annals of breed formation and improvement. The very first breeders of pedigree stock sought a uniform type and kind.
Only within the last two hundred years did cattle production turn into a source for mass food production. Farmers began to produce far more beef than they could eat themselves or even consume within their local village. Instead, the production was developed to supply beef to the growing urban populations. With this shift, came the inevitable quest to make the beast better at producing beef. As home to many of the dominant temperate region breeds including Angus and Hereford, few, if any, countries enjoy a more storied history in cattle breeding than does the UK.
In the late 19th and 20th centuries, UK stockmen gained a strong worldwide reputation for their good cattle, keen eye, and professional herdsman abilities. However, their leadership and global importance waned near the turn of the century as spiraling land values, decades of EU subsidies, BSE, and a quest for leaner, heavier muscled carcasses made them less and less competitive in the global beef market.
Today, a small cadre of dedicated beef farmers continues the long tradition of cattle breeding in the UK. Their struggle is significant, but they are resolved and dedicated to continue turning grass into beef. Their worthy goals are to preserve their heritage, their land, and their family’s way of life. This work, “Suckler Beef - A Practical Guide to Profitability” by Richard Fuller, is designed to aid and encourage this group of beef farmers.
‘’Suckler Beef’’ is one of the most concise and useful books on cattle production. Its focus is simple. What is the most profitable model for beef production in the UK and how do you build it? Read it. Read it again. Mull it over. Talk about it with other farmers. Put it into practice. Then, you will see the results in your own herd on your own farm!
Richard Fuller left Harper Adams Agricultural College in 1964 and embarked on his ambition to become a farm manager.
After several jobs gaining livestock and arable experience he was, in 1974, offered the position as Farm Manager by JSR Farms to manage their 1000 acre Givendale Farm in East Yorkshire.
Givendale is a hilly, half grass, half arable farm situated on the western slopes of the Yorkshire Wolds. This gave Richard the opportunities he needed to develop his interests in beef breeding and farm conservation.
He soon developed a suckler herd of 150 commercial cows followed by the establishment of a 100 cow pedigree Charolais herd.
Richard became focused on improving the performance of the herds by recording individual animal data. His motto has always been ‘if you don’t measure performance, how can you improve it?’
His approach to recording herd performance and breed improvement was recognised in 1983 when he was presented with the MLC/BGS Grass to Meat Award.
Cattle breeding is a slow process but Richard’s patience and determination eventually led to the formation of the Beef Improvement Group in 1997. The focus of this group of five farmers was to improve the profitability of their suckler herds by focusing on the maternal traits of the cows.
Richard’s quest to find the ideal cow led him to the USA where he found what he was looking for - a composite beef cow with all the attributes required to develop a super-efficient suckler beef system.
He describes, in this book, how he developed this revolutionary breeding approach at Givendale.
Richard is a true countryman, an accomplished wildlife photographer and he was a pioneer of farm conservation, joining the first Countryside Steward Schemes in the early 1980s. His conservation work was recognised in 1995 when he was presented with the Booker Silver Lapwing Award, a very proud event in his life.
He is a Fellow of the Royal Agricultural Society and his contributions to the beef industry have been recognised twice by RASE. Once in 2004, when he was presented with their Excellence in Practical Farming Award, followed later in 2016 by theirTechnology Award.
In 2017 Richard was deeply honoured when Lee Leachman presented him the Leachman Hairpin Award at an event in Fort Collins, Colorado for ‘Outstanding vision and discipline in spreading Leachman genetics in the UK and Europe’.
Richard is semi-retired and lives in Snowdonia with his wife Fran, where they enjoy tending their large garden, cycling, and where he enjoys sea fishing from his boat ‘Dreamcatcher’, and pursuing his life-long passions for photography and bird watching.
Publisher: Context Publications
This book weighs: 600g
|Rest of World||£9.50|
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