Harry Emslie and his partner Lynwen Evans pride themselves on their passion for pedigree and commercial beef cattle. Having been farming all their lives, the couple have immersed themselves in to the world of pedigree Limousins, as well as producing some of the finest commercial cattle sold for suckler replacements and embryo recipients.
The Emslies herd of pedigree Limousin cattle was established in 2003, following a move away from finishing commercial cattle. The search began for some of the finest breeding females the breed has seen as well as bulls with the power, natural muscling and excellent locomotion required to compliment such females.
It’s all about femininity for Harry and Lynwen who clearly laid out their criteria from the start: Well grown, muscular cows with great length, legs and feet, but with that all important feminine character the Limouisn is renowned for.
Early purchases included the 20,000gns Wilodge Ritzy bought for her depth of pedigree and style, the much admired Smithston Penny who oozed size, power and scale not to mention an excellent pedigree as well as Heathlands Sweetheart, who with a beef value of +40, also had immense power and length, as well as other notable females during the herd’s establishment.
In September 2005 a new page in the Emslies Livestock history books was written. Having travelled to Southern Ireland on farm visits, the opportunity to buy the Ballymoney herd from Angus McDonnell, County Wicklow, proved too good an opportunity to miss. Included in the herd was the tremendous Ballymoney Veronica, who has had an exceptional show career culminating in interbreed champion at the 2009 Royal Welsh Show .
Top brood cows in the herd regularly undergo flushing programmes and there are many exciting young heifers and bull calves on the ground as a result of such work.
Over the years there has also been great investment on the sire front including French sire Saphir and 8000gns Hartideanew Argos who has been an exceptional sire for the herd. Argos was male champion and reserve breed champion at the Royal Highland Show in 2008.
October 2008 saw the purchase of the 28,000gns Proctors Cavalier from Carlisle. By 100,000gns bull Haltcliffe Vermount, he is out of Procters Prunella who is a daughter of Daim and purchased for his sheer muscling and his depth of pedigree.
Yet another exciting chapter is now being written with recent investments made in Black Limousin genetics. A fascination with Black Limousins has seen Harry and Lynwen experiment across both pedigree and commercial females with 25,000gns Requin son Bailea Black BMW who was bought in Perth February 2008 and 12,000gns Goldies Denver who was bought in Stirling October 2009.
Both bulls go back to the powerful cow Beldoon Duchess, who is renowned for producing bulls with immense muscling potential as well as length. BMW has sired some fantastic cattle both in the pedigree and commercial herds with calves being admired by all who see them. No doubt Denver will follow by doing just that.
Since its conception, the Emslies herd has enjoyed great success in the show ring culminating in a male and reserve breed championship at the Royal Highland Show and a breed championship and interbreed championship at the Royal Welsh Show as well as interbreed wins at local shows throughout North East Scotland. Showing is not only a hobby for the couple, but acts as a main shop window for selling livestock, semen and embryos.
Recently Emslies Livestock has added to its pedigree base with Charolais females. Bought as a separate venture by Lynwen, the Charolais herd, which in time will number 20 breeding females, will compliment the Limousin herd. Plans are now a foot to carry out an intensive ET flushing on the Charolais females.
At the heart of the business remains the commercial suckler enterprise. Running up to 200 head a year, quality suckler replacements are sourced from across the UK before going through a rigorous high health programme. These are then sold as in-calf heifers or with calves at foot. Some heifers are sold with ET-bred pedigree calves at foot and have set new headlines for commercial sales at Thainstone and Carlisle.
Running alongside the cattle enterprise is a 500-ewe flock of Texel x Mule ewes usually put to a Suffolk tup. A recent addition to the sheep enterprise is a Southdown ram, bought from the Society’s Premier Sale in Kent. Bred in Jonathan Long’s Chaileybrook flock, the decision to use a Southdown was taken having been impressed with the breed at The Royal Show. This tup has exceptional back end, length and is correct in locomotion.
We buy 1000 lambs a year which are sold through Forfar and Thainstone and deadweight through Mey Selections.
It’s all about partnerships at Kinknockie, so Harry and Lynwen work closely with their vet Randal Mathers of the Meadows Vet Centre, Oldmeldrum and nutritionist James Coffey and of course the farm’s stock man Jac Roberts, who has been at the farm since 2005. Jac is a valuable part of the livestock enterprises and has made a tremendous contribution to the farm since his arrival.
The herd is part of the SAC Health Scheme and constantly monitors the health status of both the pedigree and commercial herds. Testing for Johne’s Disease, BVD and Lepto, any new stock to arrive on the farm are isolated on a separate unit and vaccinated for BVD and Lepto. Cows are given iodine prior to calving and calves are routinely vaccinated.
Bespoke rations are fed from conception through to the sale of a bull or female, with every stage of the diet meticulously managed. All feed is grown on the farm’s 700 acre farm from its 300 acres of arable land.