Wedderlie

Wedderlie, based in Gordon, Berwickshire, in the Scottish Borders is a 1034ha livestock farm in the Scottish Borders, lying at 700-1250ft. There are 200 pure bred Angus cows and 1800 ewes plus followers.

Herd History

The herd was founded in 1914 with the purchase of the farm by Tom Elliot in 1942. The farm and herd were left to his daughter Jenny Campbell and with Jock, her husband, the successful Wedderlie herd was established. Their daughter, Marion, married John Tilson from the Pikihuia stud in New Zealand and they returned to Scotland in 1976 to manage the farm when Jock was president of the Society in the Forum Year and also chairman of directors at the Royal Highland Show.

Their daughter Wanda founded her own herd, Ellin, in 1999 and had the champion bull at Perth in 2009 when it sold for 16,000gns. She is now a partner and integral part of the herd and farm.

Wedderlie celebrated the centenary of Aberdeen-Angus cattle at Wedderlie in 2014 with an Open Day and 1000 visitors. In 2014 the Wedderlie team won the Scotch Beef Farmer of the Year.

General breeding philosophy

The aim at Wedderlie is to produce cattle for the commercial market, with pedigree sales as a bonus. Selection is based on a balance of traits to produce bulls of structural soundness, conformation, carcass and mobility and females with fertility, function, femininity and longevity, with emphasis on udders. The herd is well known for its easy handling and good temperaments. Some frame score must be retained to protect the commercial heifer market.

Families are those which have stood the test of time using British, New Zealand and Canadian genetics, carefully selected bought in bulls and the best sons of these.

Current stock bulls

The herd’s current stock bulls are homebred including embryo sons of HF Tibbie 86K, selected in Canada for her correct structure and breeding record. She was flushed to the successful bulls of earlier years, Papa Equator and OGL Battle Cry, as well as Bosullow Elmark and Coldstream Paradox.

Current bulls used include her sons Wedderlie Tarquin, Target and Timaru, as well as Wedderlie Blackbanker by Wedderlie Kansas (a grandson of a Kenhardt cow), Wedderlie Prizemoney by Wedderlie Kanada (by Nightingale El Paso) and Ellin Lord Howe (by Wedderlie Torquan, a HF Tibbie son).

Major show and sale successes

As the emphasis at Wedderlie is very much on commercial sales, the family prefer not to show, but have won championships at the Perth and Stirling Bull Sales, selling to 24,000gns and 25,000gns.

The farm has also won and been placed in the Scotbeef Marks and Spencer Angus Steer Finishing competition and won best pen of steers at local market

Marketing outlets

Bulls are sold privately on farm, with the exception of one or two for the Stirling February Sales. There is a ready demand for naturally produced bulls and an increasing demand for surplus heifers from European countries.

Finished steers go direct to slaughter and autumn born steers are sold locally as stores, all benefitting from the Aberdeen-Angus premium.

Positions held

John and Marion are both Past Presidents of the Aberdeen-Angus Cattle Society, while Wanda is a past Council member and chair of the Health Committee.

John, Marion and Wanda have judged extensively in UK and Ireland, as well as Canada, Denmark and New Zealand.

Future plans

We strive to improve Aberdeen-Angus efficiencies within the constraints of the farm type through adopting more progressive tools for selection.

The look forward to welcoming delegates and visitors on 27th June 2017 and believes, while recollecting the Conference speakers at the last UK World Angus Forum, it is surprising how many topics might well be relevant today.