Thousands of beef farmers from all over the UK and Ireland – as well as from overseas – thronged to the Three Counties Showground, Malvern, Worcester, on Thursday (May 21) for the UK’s national beef event.
Beef Expo 2009, organised by the National Beef Association with Lloyds TSB Agriculture as main sponsor, attracted an estimated 6000 visitors to catch up on all the latest technical, commercial and marketing developments in the beef industry.
The 150 trade stands reported good business and the various demonstrations by 24 beef breed societies, practical demonstrations of equipment, educational exhibits, various competitions including stockjudging, beef cattle show and continuous seminar programme with no fewer than 33 speakers, provided plenty of interest.
“It was a great day for the beef industry and we were delighted with the attendance,” said Clive Roads of Worcester auctioneers, McCartneys, who chaired the organising committee.
“There was an air of optimism about reflecting the improved returns beef farmers have enjoyed over the past year. Farmers are investing again and trade stands were happy with the level of interest.
“A specialist event such as Beef Expo means that every visitor is a potential customer.”
Mr Roads paid tribute to sponsors, trade stand exhibitors, breed societies and his own committee who had put in so much effort to ensure the success of the event.
In addition to Lloyds TSB Agriculture as main sponsor, mainline sponsors were Dunbia, EBLEX, Hereford Cattle Society, IAE, Intervet Schering-Plough, Richard Keenan (UK), Wm Morrison Supermarkets and Three Counties Agricultural Society.
NATIONAL SPRING SPECTACULAR
The National Spring Spectacular Show, sponsored by Caltech and a new feature of Beef Expo, attracted a large audience to view the judging of an outstanding show of quality beef cattle with total prize money of £5000.
Judge, Arfon Jones, Anglesey, found his supreme and heifer champion in the 11 month old British Blue x Limousin heifer, Black Beauty, by Netherwood Umpire, shown by Tecwyn Jones, Ty Newydd, Nebo, Llanrwst, Conwy.
Reserve and steer champion was an 11 month old Limousin cross, Priceless, by Grievepark Nulan, shown by S E Sellers, Greentop, 111 Chapel Street, Kilburn, Belper, Derby.
Mr Sellers also took the baby beef championship with the 10 month old, British Blue x Limousin cross heifer, Betty Boo.
The reserve champion heifer and best bred by exhibitor was shown by Miss Christine Williams, Lodge Hill Farm, Park Lane, Shifnal, Shrewsbury, with the 11 month old Limousin x Limousin/British Blue, Ooh-La-La, by Saloman, and the reserve champion steer by G and E Jones, Ty Gwyn, Llantrisant, Holyhead, Anglesey, with the 15 month old Charolais x Limousin cross, Gold Digger.
Miss Williams also stood reserve for the baby beef championship with the 10 month old Limousin cross heifer, Milly Many, by Clydevalley Arty.
Reserve best bred by exhibitor was an 11 month old Limousin cross steer, Makka Pakka, by Volcano, from N E Slack, Plum Tree House, Newby, Penrith, Cumbria.
PEDIGREE CALF SHOW
Miss Williams also scored a double triumph in the pedigree calf show, judged by John Owens, Leominster, taking the supreme championship with a year-old Limousin heifer, Wilodge Diamante, and the reserve with a 10 month old Limousin bull calf, Wilodge Dallaglio. Both were sired by the home-bred Wilodge Vantastic.
Champion in the native breeds’ section was a year-old Hereford bull, Bosa 1 Laner, by Rael 1 Boldric, shown by Gereld Blandford and Son, Temple Court, Bosbury, Ledbury, Hereford. Reserve was a year-old Devon heifer, Hansett Fancie 20th, by Forde Abbey Erasmos, from Mrs S Farquhar, Hansnett Farm, Canon Frome, Ledbury, Herefordshire.
CATTLE PREPARATION COMPETITION
One of the highlights of the show was the cattle preparation competition for youngsters aged 14 – 20 which was organised in conjunction with the Commercial Show Cattle Society and sponsored by ASDA. The judge was Peter Bodily, Milton Keynes, Bucks. Competitors were required to demonstrate their cattle dressing ability, showmanship skills and general knowledge of cattle husbandry.
Winner on 88 points was Ian Dowlman, Newgrove Cottage, Llandinabo, Hereford, followed closely in second place by Tom Burnett, Stoneycroft Farm, Yarpole Lane, Luston, Leominster, on 85 points and in third place on 84 points Charlie Bishop, Pitfield Farm, Eldersfield, Gloucester.
The English Farm Shop Beef Butchery Competition, organised by EBLEX and open to owners, managers and butchers from farm shops, attracted a great deal of interest. Winner was John Brereton of Ludlow Food Centre with Stuart Cove, Weeton’s in second place and Robert Nicholson, Canon Hall Farms, claiming third spot.
Fun was had by all in the novel auctioneering competition, where novices had 90 seconds to demonstrate their auctioneering skills in an X-Factor style competition. The winner was Roger Williams, Marston Court, Pembridge, Herefordshire with David Noble runner-up.
Winner of the Yara Perpetual Trophy open stockjudging competition, sponsored by Yara UK, was Melissa Timms, More Farm, Bathchurch, Shrewsbury, with the runner-up award going to R Vincent, Sycamore Cottages, Arping, Folkeston, Kent. Melissa also took second place in the open weight guessing competition.
The Duke of Northumberland Trophy and cash prize of £200 sponsored by Norbrook Laboratories for the winner in the senior section (19 – 21) of the young farmers’ stockjudging competition was Harry Gilder, Moat Farm, Lower Stensham, Worcester, whose sister, Rachel Gilder, was runner-up.
The junior section (18 and under) was won by Harriot Wilson, Whitecross Farm Haughton, Stafford, with Christie Joseph, Lloyroy, Llanstephen, Llyswen, Brecon, runner-up.
Christie was also first in the weight guessing competition for young farmers with second place going to Nia Lown Griffiths, Carmarthen.
The Ritchey open weight guessing was won by F G Goodall, Llandovery.
BREED SOCIETY AWARDS
The award for the best display by a breed society went to the Hereford Cattle Society with the Highland Cattle Society runners-up.
On the day before Beef Expo, more than 300 farmers joined a farm tour visiting three Herefordshire farms – John Price, The Day House Farm, Kingsland, Leominster (large-scale beef finishing enterprise), E B Walker and Co, Tedney House, Clifton upon Teme (organic breeding and finishing unit with pedigree Hereford herd) and Paul Dawes, Kipperknowe Farm Dinmore Manor Estate (pedigree Limousin herd).
CONFERENCE AND DINNER
Speakers at the pre-event conference following the farm tour were Christianna Glossop, chief veterinary officer for Wales, who outlines the Welsh Assembly’s ambitious plans for a TB eradication programme in the Welsh national cattle herd; Peter Hardwick, international manager with EBLEX, who discussed the export opportunities for British beef: and Gavin Ross, programme manager with DEFRA, who outlined the Government’s controversial plans for co-responsibility and cost-sharing to tackle exotic animal diseases.
Guest speaker at the pre-event dinner, with Hereford beef supplied by Dovecote Park and sponsored by the Hereford Cattle Society, was the self-styled Black Farmer and food industry entrepreneur, Wilfred Emmanuel-Jones. More than 250 people attended the dinner and almost £1500 was raised in the raffle on behalf of the ARC Addington Fund.
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