Tuesday, 23 April 2013

Castles, cattle and the mighty River Spey

Ballindalloch - a beautiful Highland estate with a romantic castle - is home to the Macpherson-Grant family and the oldest Aberdeen Angus herd in the world. The estate is in the Spey Valley, an area steeped in history and world-famous malt whisky brands like Glenfiddich, Glenlivet and Macallan.

In September 2014 - as part of the IFAJ Congress - we will be visiting Ballindalloch as part of the beef and red meat itinerary.

It is believed that Ballindalloch castle dates back to the early 16th century and what is incredible is that it is still privately owned and it has been continuously lived in by its original family.

The Ballindalloch herd of Aberdeen Angus cattle have grazed 'the Coo Haugh' beside the castle for centuries. This commercially important breed for the UK is directly descended from the native cattle found in the north east of Scotland - the old 'Doddies' of Angus and the 'Hummlies' from Buchan. These predecessors were hardy, black hornless cattle which date back to the 12th century.

Aberdeen Angus cattle are suited to grass-based systems. They are hardy, docile and produce - we believe - some of the best beef in the world. During the visit we will hear about the UK beef supply chain, production techniques and the innovations in breeding and testing for meat quality.

HRH Prince Charles, the Prince of Wales, is patron of the Aberdeen Angus Cattle Society. His interest in the breed stemmed from his grandmother - The Queen Mother. The Prince of Wales has a successful Aberdeen-Angus herd at Highgrove and takes an active interest in the Castle of Mey herd in Caithness which is now run by The Queen Elizabeth Castle of Mey Trust.

For more details on Ballindalloch go to: http://www.ballindallochcastle.co.uk/

For more details on the 2014 IFAJ Congress go to www.ifaj2014.com

For more details on the Aberdeen Angus Society go to: http://aberdeen-angus.co.uk/about-us/history/

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