Major American cattle breeder Lee Leachman was the keynote speaker at an important genetics conference held at the Royal Welsh Showground at Builth Wells last week. The conference on ‘Driving Beef Profitability Through Innovation’, organised jointly by Hybu Cig Cymru – Meat Promotion Wales (HCC) and the Stabiliser Cattle Company, discussed how genetics could be developed to combine eating quality and profitability.
The Leachman family have been in the cattle breeding business for over 60 years, and sell a variety of stock, including Angus, Stabiliser and Charolais breeds. Lee gave his views on the wide range of traits that need to be combined in order to produce the most profitable cattle for beef farmers. As well as feed intake, high muscle content, fertility, and even docility, it’s also vital for the future of the industry to consider meat eating quality – particularly the level of marbling in the beef.
Lee Leachman concluded his remarks by predicting a move towards putting a greater premium on eating quality in the UK market. “The market is right here,” he said, “if you have efficient suckler cows producing high-quality beef – you will be globally competitive.”
Speakers also included HCC Industry Development Officer Gwawr Parry and Head of Operations Prys Morgan, as well as Richard Fuller and Duncan Pullar of the Stabiliser Cattle Company.
“We were delighted to see nearly a hundred beef farmers gather to listen to Lee Leachman and the other speakers at the beef genetics conference,” said Gwawr Parry. “Giving farmers the opportunity to hear directly about research, development and best practice is an important part of HCC’s remit, and we have worked with several cattle breed societies in recent years.”
“Lee Leachman spoke passionately about his drive to increase the profitability of his herd by meticulously measuring all aspects of performance to develop his cattle genetics,” added Gwawr. “All the speakers brought their own insights, and the conference was an extremely fruitful way of discussing lessons that can be learned, from Colorado and elsewhere, to further improve profitability in cattle farming here in Wales.”