Stephanie Dick is a well known name in pedigree circles having pursued her passion for cattle overseas as a teenager before returning to Scotland to establish her own herd of pedigree Aberdeen-Angus under the Stephick prefix.

Her passion for pedigree cattle and the showring was ignited at an early age, having grown up on the 3000-acre family mixed beef and arable farm in Stirling, home to the Ronick herd of pedigree Limousins.

Founded in 1979, the herd now comprises 250-head of pedigree Limousins plus 50 cross bred cows, with Stephanie heavily involved in the day-to-day management of the cattle.

The Scottish Farmer: Best purchases to date have been Weeton Evora and Blelack EvoraBest purchases to date have been Weeton Evora and Blelack Evora

While Stephanie is committed to continuing the family’s long established Ronick herd, she is also keen to build her own pedigree cattle legacy and has introduced a completely new breed to the farm at Throsk.

Stephanie says: “There have been Limousins on the farm since my dad was 18, but after I returned to the business after a period of working on an Aberdeen-Angus ranch in Oklahoma, I wanted to make my own mark in the cattle industry.”

She added that she could see the growing world-wide demand for Aberdeen-Angus cattle.

“They’re a popular breed globally which means there’s an appetite for export opportunities, as well as the possibility to import new exciting lines.

“I currently have a cow at Express Ranches in Oklahoma that I bring embryos back from.”

“I also travelled to Czech last year supporting with workshops and helping them to learn how to clip and prepare cattle, all in preparation for the World Angus Technical Meeting. I love doing trips like this and networking in different countries. Export opportunities are definitely something I would be keen to explore if I were to expand my herd.”

Stephanie founded the Stephick herd in 2012, slowly building up with foundation females from Windyedge, Crew, StrathUrr and Weeton, and has gradually built it up to the 10 females she has today.

“I’ve slowly bought in more heifers over the years when I find something that excites me, but now I hope to focus on breeding my own to shape the genetics of the herd to where I want them to be.

The Scottish Farmer: Stephanie Dick has had a passion for pedigree breeding since travelling overseas as a teenagerStephanie Dick has had a passion for pedigree breeding since travelling overseas as a teenager

Her best investment to date has been Weeton Evora which has proven herself so much that Stephanie bought an Evora female at the Blelack dispersal sale that is looking equally promising

“For cows, I have bought in, I make sure they come from consistent and proven lines. I’m specifically looking for a flashy, stylish cow, so if I do want to show them, they’ll have a good presence in the ring.”

Stephanie added that good conformation and legs are other traits to look for.

“I like to see a wide top, full of meat, with the Angus being an easy fleshing breed, as well as a bit of shape down the hind quarters.”

She sold her first Stephick female last year and in order to build her reputation within the breed, she hopes to be able to continue to offer heifers for sale to other pedigree breeders, while also trying to breed top pedigree bulls.

Youth Development Programme

To immerse herself in the breed after her time in America, Stephanie joined the Aberdeen-Angus Youth Development Programme.

She qualified for the finals in her first and second year, taking home an overall winner in the senior group in 2015.

“The programme was the best way to expand my network of like-minded people in the industry,” Miss Dick says.

“The people are great, everyone was very welcoming when I wanted to get into a new breed, they were friendly, accepting, and helpful.

“You get the opportunity to learn good stockmanship from experienced people and in the final, we were judged on stock judging, clipping, dressing, showmanship and undertook a panel interview.

“These are all great skills but ultimately you gain friends for life which I think is so important for young people entering the pedigree beef industry.”

With the prize for winning the finals being a travel bursary, Miss Dick used the opportunity to return to Express ranches in Oklahoma, which she credits for being one of the biggest influences on her new-found passion for Aberdeen-Angus cattle.

“Express is the biggest pure-bred operation in North America running more than 11,000 Angus, owned by Bob Funk who has been a real inspiration for not only my Angus herd but also in life.

"Having the opportunity to see how they work on such a large scale and learn from him is something I’ll always value.”

Stephanie was keen to stay involved in the Youth Development Programme beyond her senior win and is now regional co-ordinator for Scotland.

“It’s an exciting time to be part of the programme as we’ll be organising teams over the next year to take to the Angus World Forum in Australia in 2025. I would encourage anyone looking to join to get involved to come to workshops or conferences, YDP has taught me a vast amount and really helped me gain contacts within the breed as well as making some great friends.”