Spotlight On... Picston Shottle, Genus
What a load of bull.....
Five tonnes of it to be precise. Picston Shottle is the acceptable face of Genus, the British ground-breaking cow and pig sperm company.
So what's so special about him?
He was Genus' first bull to be ranked number one in five countries including the key United States market. Since he first started producing sperm for sale he has sired a staggering 200,000 plus daughters. (We are only interested in females here because Holsteins are dairy not beef cattle.)
Where is he from?
He was born on 23 July 1999 at Sport Acre Farm near Stafford. Genus bought him and he entered stud in 2004. Now at the age of 13 he is over the peak of his productivity but a single shot of his love juice (containing a minimum of 15 sperm) still costs more than £30 a time. He lives in a "secret cow byre somewhere near Ruthin, North Wales" where he enjoys subdued lighting and padded mattresses and has Mozart piped in.
What's in it for Genus?
Apart from being highly profitable in his own right Picston Shottle has enabled what was a modest British company to move up into the top tier of livestock producers in the world. It is now not only huge in the States but has fast-growing operations in India, Latin America and Asia. It has also expanded from cattle into pigs and is one of the largest producers of piglets in the world.
Is that good?
Well, for Genus shareholders, certainly. Profits for the year just ended rose 19 per cent to £46.5m, which ain't a bad return on revenues of £342m. The share price has more than doubled over the last three years.
And what's the future for Picston Shottle?
As long as he's still spunky he carries on. Even when he's over the hill this is one bull which won't be going to the knacker's yard.
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