NBA Beef Expo Young Farmer Focus Aberdeen Angus – Graeme Rhind

5th April 2024

Graeme Rhind is a young farmer and Aberdeen-Angus breeder whose impressive CV includes a host of successes on the show circuit and winning the 2023 Aberdeen-Angus Youth Development Programme Senior Section Finals.

Now aged 22, he left school at 16 to work full time on his family’s Newton Struthers Farm, Kinloss Forres alongside his grandfather, Sandy, parents Graeme and Claire, and younger brother Grant.

The majority of the family farm is arable, where they grow spring malting barley for whisky production, as well as grassland for grazing the livestock enterprise’s 30 pedigree Aberdeen-Angus and 10 Limousin females, 10 pure blue texels and a flock of 160 cross commercial ewes. The Rhinds also run an agricultural contracting business offering a complete range of tillage, grassland, and general farm work services, but Graeme’s principal responsibility is to look after the Pedigree Aberdeen-Angus herd established by his grandfather, with the overall aim of producing quality bulls.

“I have always had a keen interest in our Aberdeen Angus and first started showing when I was 9, and although my grandfather is still involved, he has largely passed the baton on to me.

“My aim is to build the herd size, adapt our genetics, and get the best performance out of the herd as possible. I have a keen interest in looking at different blood lines and just completed my AI ticket which will give me more flexibility for sire choices. We keep all our own replacements; Bulls are currently sold privately off farm and we are both grateful and fortunate to have local repeat customers.”

When looking for their own Bulls these are mainly purchased off-farm from trusted breeders and Graeme looks for classic characteristics: “It needs to be good on its legs, true to the breed character, with a good head, long and clean with a good top and when you go into a field, I like to see the bull standing above the cows. Our last bull purchased was Idvies-Ed, from the Fraser Family’s Idvies Aberdeen Angus herd near Forfar.

Winning the Youth Development Programme Senior Section is a major personal milestone which also won Graeme a travel bursary to study Aberdeen Angus anywhere in the world, and he is hoping to visit either the US or Canada in the next twelve months or so.

2023 also brought Graeme remarkable success on the show circuit, showing the family’s home bred Aberdeen-Angus yearling heifer, Newton-Struthers Espresso. Throughout the 2023 showing season she was judged Breed Champion nine times across Scotland, Interbreed Champion twice and Reserve Interbreed Champion twice, this included scooping Breed and Interbreed Champion at the Black Isle Show. She was also secured Reserve at the North East of Scotland Aberdeen-Angus Black Beauty Bonanza at Thainstone.

Graeme attributes much of his success in his showing and breeding career to date,  to his grandfather, Sandy, and at 22, he hopes this is just the beginning of his own commitment to the future of the Newton Struthers Aberdeen Angus herd.

“Breeding cattle always brings challenges from the moment they hit the ground right through to the end product. But I’m passionate about the breed and about the development of our herd.  Hopefully, I can just keep doing what I am doing to increase the number of cows and continue to improve our genetics, and I will keep learning from my mistakes and learning from other people along the way.”