Inverness-shire based Cathryn Williamson has been elected president of the Beef Shorthorn Cattle Society.

A Society director for the last four years, she succeeds Sally Horrell who has completed her two-year term of office.

Cathryn, who has bred Beef Shorthorns for more than 12 years and established her own 20 cow Balnespick herd at Kincraig in 2017 comments: “It’s an honour and privilege to be elected to this position at a time when the Society continues to grow from strength to strength with a 15% expansion in membership during the last three years, pedigree registrations have increased by almost 30% in the last eight years and Beef Shorthorn continues to remain Britain’s fastest growing native breed according to Defra.

“That trend reflects commercial producers’ interest in the modern Beef Shorthorn as a functional suckler cow with its unique set of maternal features - quiet temperament, moderate size, easy to calve, milky and easily kept off forage based systems. These suckler producers are aware that Beef Shorthorn is fit for purpose, particularly under future green regimes. Furthermore, demand for steers continues to be fuelled by Morrisons Shorthorn Beef Scheme as the supermarket is extending the Shorthorn Beef brand to all its UK stores,” she says.

“To further improve the herdbook’s quality and strengthen the breed’s positioning, I will be encouraging breeders to select more carefully for maternal traits by performance recording their cattle and in turn, witnessing the benefits.

“Another of my objectives is to further improve the Society’s service to members and progress the development of a new initiative for the next generation,” she says. “I will also be continuing to encourage new members with start-up herds. I particularly enjoy engaging with these enthusiasts; having just established my Balnespick herd from scratch, I can readily identify with their challenges.

She adds: “At Balnespick, I’m enjoying developing a high health, performance recorded herd breeding high quality animals for both the pedigree and commercial sector with the added bonus of the show ring camaraderie. I am looking forward to working with a very focused team of Society directors and staff striving to continue to deliver Beef Shorthorn to meet with growing market demand.”

Charles Horton who runs the 100 breeding cow Hannington herd at Cirencester, Gloucestershire has been elected Society vice-president.