INNOVATIVE livestock fa-rmers, the Scott family at Fearn Farm, near Easter Ross, Tain, are set to hold their first online breeding cattle sale in January 2021, following the success of their yourbid ram sale in August 2020 and due to the uncerta-inties regarding the Covid-19 restrictions.
“At Fearn, we strive to produce high health top quality stock from forage-based diets. Our new online sale allows us to sell stock direct from farm, putting minimal stress on the animals and our staff. It will also allow buyers across the UK and further afield the opportunity to purchase stock from their farm office, tractor seat, or in person on-farm subject to Government guidelines, and where social distancing measures will be adhered to,” says John Scott.
The yourbid system was developed by David and George Giddings of Meadow-slea Genetics, New Zealand, who integrated an online bidding option for their stud Angus female sale earlier this year while New Zealand was in lockdown.
After seeing the success of the sale, Fearn Farm teamed up with the McGowan family of Incheoch, Blairgowrie, to bring the Helmsman style online auction system to the UK for the first time in summer 2020.
“We first used yourbid earlier this year for our on-farm ram sale and found it worked really well for our system. Like a silent auction, all lots are offered for sale at the same time,” explains John. “The main difference is the online sale will only come to an end when there are no further bids on any lot.”
In total, 42 animals will be offered for sale with videos of the cattle and a detailed catalogue, including performance figures, genetics and weights available from December 4.
“This is an exciting time for us as a business, we believe in our product and are delighted that we can use this platform once again in the UK, giving farmers and crofters the opportunity to buy the genetics they need to drive their herds forward in uncertain times.”
The family currently runs 100 pedigree Shorthorn cows under the Fearn prefix, which was founded in 1995. John explains how the upcoming sale will give buyers the chance to purchase stock with genetics linking to some highly sought bloodlines.
“We have several bull and heifer lots sired by Fearn Godfather, who was originally sold for 10,000gns, then bought back three years later at auction for 20,000gns.
“He is one of the highest performance recorded anim-als in the breed and is a trait leader for calving ease; 200-, 400- and 600-day weights; carcase weight and rib fat.”
John adds: “Other sires include Fearn Elmer – who needs no introduction – with sons selling privately to 10,000gns, averaging over £5,000 for 25 sold to date and his daughters are breeding extremely well within the herd.
“He is possibly the easiest fleshing bull that we have bred at Fearn, with one of his sons likely to be retained for our own use next year.”
The Luing offering will see bulls and bulling heifers available from the 50 cow Scotsburn herd, which is managed by the Scott family through a contract farming agreement, as well as progeny from the 50 cow Sutherland herd, which is run by Scott Farming Co. Both these herds have been founded on the renowned Cadzow Bros Luing genetics.
The sale will go live on January 12 and run until January 22.
Potential buyers can visit the farm to view stock by arranging an appointment for any of the following dates – December 29, January 8 or January 15.