World Angus Forums and Secretariats; What are they about? And why should you try and go on them – by James Arnott
James Arnott runs the Coul Angus herd from Mains of Coul, Forfar, and has been a member of the Aberdeen-Angus Cattle Society for almost 30 years, having first joined in 1989. James has attended several World Angus Forums and Secretariats, and with the 2017 World Angus Forum just a month away, he has been kind enough to provide us with his take on what Forums and Secretariats are all about and why it is important to attend:
‘’Having had a birthday fairly recently (not a major one!) and received good wishes from friends all over the world, I’ve realized the great friendships that I’ve made during the trips I’ve went on for the World Angus Forum over the years. The Aberdeen-Angus breeders are like one huge family of like-minded people who share one common interest, a real love and passion for cattle and farming.
These forums provide contacts, business opportunities and fellowship, not just abroad but in your own country too. They are designed to show off the best that a country has to offer, whether that is to do with its history, culture, commerce of solely beef cattle. You get a real rare chance to hear about the reality of the Aberdeen-Angus breed from a global point of view, as well as being able to discuss breed lines, genetics, health issues and politics.
The Forums lets us learn about the vast amount of environmental conditions that the Aberdeen-Angus breed survives in, as well as the large herds in other countries across the world, to the small hobby breeders with only two or three cattle. I remember listening to Ron McHattie during the vote of thanks when the Forum was being held in Argentina. Ron told us that the ranch we were on registered more pure bred Aberdeen-Angus in the course of the year than the whole of the UK and Ireland put together. We get the opportunity to experience our breed in so many different environments and situations. The Secretariat in Canada in 1999 had two inches of snow in July, when it should normally be in the high 20s to low 30s as it was in 2009 when they had a mile and a half of Aberdeen-Angus cattle shoulder to shoulder on display. In Mexico in 2015, we got to see cattle that had as much as 50 acres per head to graze in where they had lost around 75% of the herd due to the drought.
Whether it’s a full World Angus Forum or the smaller-scale Secretariats, you are always guaranteed fellowship, fun, tales, stories, experiences, visitations and opportunities, you simply have to be there. This year’s World Angus Forum in our own shores here in the UK will be no different, and I’m really looking forward to meeting everyone who will travel here for what will be a great event.’’
We’d like to thank James for taking the time to provide us with his experiences of the World Angus Forum, giving a great insight into why these events simply cannot be missed. With the Forum kicking off in just a month’s time, it’s not too late to register to attend. For full information on how to register, please visit: http://worldangusforum2017.com/registration/