10 Dec 2018

Jack Lawson Retires from CIS Board

In November, Jack Lawson retired from the CIS Board and we thank him immensely for his commitment, ideas and passion in supporting the business growth of CIS over the last 16 years.

Jack’s lifetime objective has always been to make a better life for the farming community, not only by improving animal genetics but encouraging farmers to make greater use of the knowledge already available to raise their standard of living and quality of life.

His original love was the Ayrshire breed of cattle and for fourteen years he was General Secretary of the Ayrshire Breed Society of Great Britain and Ireland. During this time he brought fresh thinking and helped initiate and promote many of the practices which are now in every day use such as type classification, judges giving oral reasons, progeny testing, AI and the greater use of genetics.

On the international scene, Jack was a driving force for twenty one years with the World Federation of Ayrshire Breed Societies successfully exporting Ayrshire cattle and semen to all continents, being especially credited with great breed improvement in East and South Africa.

His talents for positive progress were translated from one breed to all breeds of cattle when he was asked to take over the Directorship of the Scottish Milk Marketing Boards (SMMB) cattle breeding division in 1984. Jack went on to become one of the biggest movers and shakers in a livestock industry which was being revolutionised by international genetics. During his time of responsibility the use of AI increased from 20% to 70% and milk recording increased from 25% to over 70% in the Scottish dairy herd, yields rose by 70% and AI started to produce benefits to commercial beef herds as well. At the time of SMMB deregulation Jack became Managing Director of Scottish Livestock Services Ltd. and from 1991 to1997 was the Chairman of the Supersires group of cattle breeding companies.

Jack has received various accolades but he has particularly proud in 1986 to be the recipient of the Sir Wm. Young award for outstanding services to cattle breeding and in 2001 he was made a Fellow of the Royal Agricultural Societies [FRAgS.]. This followed in 2011 by the Scottish Farmer award for lifetime achievement in agriculture and was named Champion of Champions.

One of Jack’s sayings is that staff are the most important asset of any company and he has always made it his business to know each of his staff by first name.

In recognition of Jack’s service to CIS he was presented with a rose bowl at the CIS laboratory and head office in Telford by Janette Mathie, Head of Field Services, Dena Snidall Head of Laboratory and Aled Jones, CIS Chairman.

We wish him all the best for the future.