Winner of the 2023 Innovation Award


About John:

John is now in sole charge of the management of the Rawburn Aberdeen Angus herd and has continued to maintain it as one of the highest performance Aberdeen Angus herds in the United Kingdom. In 2020 John introduced a protocol to measure feed efficiency as a selection trait, becoming the first to apply it to a purebred herd. Feed intake and liveweight data is recorded over a 50-day period. To date feed efficiency has measured over three winters with the 2022 young bulls requiring 0.2kg less feed on average to grow 1kg of liveweight in their first winter compared to bulls measured in 2020. This reflects just one generation of breeding decisions informed by feed efficiency data. Feed efficiency has been added to the previous performance testing regime rather than replacing it. The aim is to provide commercial benefits to the owners of suckler herds which buy Rawburn Aberdeen Angus bulls. 

What the judges said:

Exemplary commitment to excellence and genetic herd improvement through a combination of adopting the latest technology in animal breeding, financial investment and having a clear strategy for success. A worthy winner and tremendous inspiration for all up-and-coming Scottish livestock producers. 


What John said:

“It’s always nice to get recognition for what was at the time quite a big financial outlay for ourselves and quite a big risk, but it was one that we felt was important to move our programme on to the next level and it’s nice to be recognised for that.” 

See John's full story here

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