Beef producers attending the UK’s national beef event, Beef Expo 2008, at Perth on Wednesday, May 21, will have the opportunity of questioning industry experts on a range of topical issues at a series of seminars to be held throughout the day.
Following the event theme of “Engage With Beef”, the seminars will focus on sustainable systems of beef production, animal health and achieving positive margins and will finish with a “Question Time” discussion panel featuring leading figures representing all sectors of the industry.
Beef Expo 2008, organised by the National Beef Association with Lloyds TSB Agriculture as major sponsor, is the UK beef industry’s main event of the year and is set to attract several thousand beef producers from across the UK and Ireland.
“We are delighted to have the opportunity of hosting Beef Expo 2008 at Perth Agricultural Centre and look forward to welcoming beef producers from all over the country to the heart of the UK beef industry,” said Perthshire beef farmer, Randal Wilson, who is chairman of the organising committee.
“The comprehensive programme of events, practical demonstrations and stockjudging competitions throughout the day will provide plenty of interest and the seminars, covering a wide range of important topics, are set to attract a large audience of farmers.
“The whole focus of the day will be on helping beef farmers achieve profitable and sustainable beef enterprises on their own farms.”
The event will be open to the public from 9.00am with the official opening by Richard Lochhead, Cabinet Secretary for Rural Affairs and the Environment, taking place at 11.00am, followed by a short address by Prof Donald MacRae, strategy and finance director, Lloyds TSB Scotland. This will be followed at 11.30am with a presentation on “Sustainable Systems” by Kim Marie Haywood, director of the National Beef Association.
Prior to the opening ceremony, a speaker from DEFRA will give a “British Export Update” while Livestock Technology Solutions will be giving a presentation on their stand, addressed by their managing director, John Sinnet, on “LTS – Providing a Future for Farming”.
The first seminar at 12 noon on the subject of “Healthy Herds” will be chaired by NFU Scotland vice-president, Nigel Miller, and will include presentations on Johne’s Disease by SAC vet, George Caldow, the advantages of health schemes by Orkney farmer, Michael Cursiter, chairman of Hi Health, and an update on bluetongue by Robert Ankhorn, northern veterinary adviser with Intervet.
“Positive Margins” will be the subject of a second seminar at 1.00pm chaired by Iain Riddell, manager of SAC Select Services. Wigtownshire beef producer, Robert Parker, who was last year awarded a Nuffield Scholarship to study beef production in Argentina and Australia, will discuss “Maximising Suckler Cow Profitability” while Willie Thomson, technical director of Harbro Ltd, will highlight the benefits of the computer programme, Q-Box Analysis, for costings, rations and benchmarking.
Chairman for the “Question Time” panel discussion will be David Leggat, executive chairman of United Auctions Ltd, and the panel members will include Duff Burrell, chairman of the National Beef Association, Ian Bentley, trading executive with Marks and Spencer, Neil Stoddart, managing director of AK Stoddart Ltd and a former chairman of the Scottish Association of Meat Wholesalers, and Jim McLaren, president of NFU Scotland.
As previously announced, Dr Temple Grandin of Colorado State University, USA, who is widely acknowledged as the world’s leading expert on animal behaviour and the design of livestock handling facilities, will be giving four presentations/demonstrations during the day at 10.30am, 11.30am, 12.30pm and 1.30pm.
Other features of Beef Expo 2008 will include 100 trade stands and educational exhibits, a record 22 beef breed displays featuring more than 300 cattle, commercial demonstration of breeding females on the theme “Breeding Cattle for a Sustainable System”, technical demonstrations on the value of Estimated Breeding Values (EBVs), working demonstrations of diet feeders and mobile feed mixers and open and young farmers’ stockjudging competitions.
Beef breeds represented will be Aberdeen-Angus, South Devon, Murray Gray, Luing, Charolais, Limousin, Hereford, Bazadaise, Parthenaise, Simmental, Stabiliser, Longhorn, Gasgon, Salers, Beef Shorthorn, Lincoln Red, Highland, Whitebred Shorthorn, British Blue, Galloway, Blonde and Red Poll.
In addition to Lloyds TSB Agriculture as major sponsor, the Aberdeen-Angus Cattle Society, McDonald Restaurants, Quality Meat Scotland, Livestock Technology Solutions, Schering-Plough/Intervet and United Auctions have been confirmed as mainline sponsors.
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