On the first evening we were hosted by the Swedish Red Breeds Association for Dinner and a social get together. Delegates from the Unitred Kingdom, Canada, USA, South Africa, Australia, New Zealand, Finland, Kenya and Sweden were in attendance. Alf Eriksson from the SRB gave us details for the next few days events.
The following morning, we all headed to the Elmia Show where the SRB National show takes place. 45 SRB animals took part with good classes of functional cows all the way through each class, with particularly great examples at the top of the line. Judge was the UK Breed Manager Duncan Hunter. SRB breeder Leif Larsson had a fantastic day winning both the Junior and the Senior championships and Grand Champion of the day.
Later in the afternoon we set off to Skara for our hotel stay for the next two nights. Saturday morning saw the start of the meetings. For those of you unaware, the Ayrshire Cattle Society of Great Britain and Ireland run the WAF office, so the preparation of the meeting was down to them. We must thank Lina Ragnarsson from SRB for her help with the preparation of the venue which was held in the Viking genetics board room.
Many subjects were discussed including promoting the Ayrshire breed world-wide, how we sell ourselves, Young breeders’ opportunities, expanding our genetic pool and genomics. We are delighted to announce that the World Ayrshire Federation will be working together to be able to share genomic information from each country in the future. This will take a lot of work and a sub committee has been formed to drive this forward. They are Becky Payne (USA) Duncan Hunter (UK) Robert Albertsson (Sweden) JD Marais (South Africa) Andrew Shufelt (Canada). We also had two very interesting presentations from Viking genetics and from Mr Per Falk in particular, who gave us an insight as to where our breed began.
On the final day we had the pleasure to visit two SRB herds. We were all very impressed with their production and health traits and nice conformation. Some delegates stayed on for extra farm tours but for the rest it was time to depart.
Thanks to the Swedish Red Breed for the hospitality shown to us and to our Ayrshire friends around the world for your company.