The Aberdeen-Angus Cattle Society's 2023 Youth Development Programme is is calling all budding young stockmen and women to get involved in it's workshops, which start at the end of month.

The programme provides a fantastic opportunity for anybody between the age of eight and 24 to understand more about showing cattle, while allowing them to make friends with like-minded people within the industry and make friends for life.

“There’s a number of workshops taking place across all four nations and the hands-on events provide an opportunity to meet and learn from experienced stockpeople on-farm, in a safe and welcoming environment,” said Tina Russell, National YDP coordinator.

“The programme covers a whole host of areas including animal welfare, cattle handling, show and sale preparation, presentations from industry specialists, plus the opportunity to compete at our final.”

Robert Gilchrist, CEO of the Aberdeen-Angus Cattle Society, added that the society is really pleased to sponsor this programme.

“The Society is passionate about supporting young people in building their knowledge of the beef sector and recognises the role future generations will play. We’re enormously proud to support this initiative,” commented Mr Gilchrist, adding that the scheme is open to all breeders, and not just those with Aberdeen-Angus cattle.

“We’d strongly recommend interested young people head along to the workshops as they’ll learn a lot and make friends for life as Nicola, last year’s champion, has done.”

The Society’s latest YDP champion, Nicola Howie from Aberdeenshire – a passionate producer of Aberdeen-Angus cattle – commented that she has enjoyed attending YDP workshops for the past 13 years.

“It’s fantastic to have been the winner of the 2022 YDP final, however it didn’t happen overnight. I’ve enjoyed attending workshops every year since I was eight-years-old,” she said.

“The one thing I’d say to people who aren’t sure whether to sign up, is that the friends you make at the workshops and senior conferences are definitely for life. Last year, I participated in many shows all over the country with our cattle and was asked to show for other herds too – the highlight was showing our own bull at the Stirling Bull Sales.”

Having landed the championship, Nicola was awarded a £1500 travel bursary which she plans on using to travel across to the United States of America.

“I’ve always wanted to travel around North America and see how they breed and turnout cattle over there. I’ve already got a list of farms to visit and can’t wait to see what opportunities my trip, and winning the final will bring for me.”