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Stackyard News Sep 2010

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Countdown to a Record Breaking Beef South West 2010

Moving Beef South West to Exeter Livestock Centre, close to the M5 motorway, has encouraged the beef industry to really get involved in the event. With more exhibitors, breed societies, trade stands and special features than ever before, the NBA South West has pulled out all the stops to create a dynamic one day event on Wednesday September 29th 9 am – 5 pm.

Beef South West

It will be a record breaking show, with special guest BBC Countryfile presenter Adam Henson sharing his vision for British farming and the beef industry at the opening event at 11 am with NBA President John Pappin. Adam will then take part in the programme of events throughout the day, presenting prizes in the cattle showing classes, judging a steak competition as well as contributing to the Young Farmer’s Great Debate on cloning, chaired by show president John Lee with young beef farmer Vice President David Camp - guaranteed to generate some spirited reaction!

This is the fourth beef event organised by the NBA South West, where there is drive and passion from a team of dedicated council members to put on a great event, to raise funds to invest back into the beef industry to encourage suckler beef production and younger beef producers into the sector – a vision shared by the sponsors who have generously supported Beef South West.

Tom Turner Chairman NBA SW said, ‘Thanks to the support of our sponsors, exhibitors, young beef producers, young farmers, showmen and show women - and most importantly everyone helping on the day, giving their time – we hope to make this an event everyone can be proud of. This is a grass roots initiative to help the beef sector move forward and we appreciate everyone’s contribution. Please come along and support us.’

Main sponsors EBLEX, Mole Valley Farmers, AMC, St Merryn Foods and Shearwell Data are taking a leading role at the event, with new features, classes and demonstration areas through their loyal backing and commitment to the beef industry.

A major focus of Beef South West will be production improvement in the beef and dairy beef sector, through better finishing, forage and disease control. The ASDA Knowledge & Technology Transfer area is a new feature to give suckler and dairy beef producers hands on practical advice. Here farmers can learn about ASDA Beef Link and initiatives for young beef producers while outside near the Primestock ring, producers can take part in the ASDA Beef Challenge; EBLEX carcase grading and a focus on making a margin from grass based beef; practical advice from Mole Valley Farmer’s beef specialist Lachie Maclachlan within the MVF Forage for Profit feature; eye muscle scanning; Igenity gene tenderness demonstrations testing pedigree bulls from the South West Yearling Young Bull of the Year class while eye muscle scanning demonstrations will be showcased by Yorkshireman Adrian Johnson; meanwhile the South West Healthy Livestock Initiative and the South West TB Farm Advisory Service will provide valuable advice on disease management.

There is £4000 in prize money to be won in the cattle showing classes. Now the Auction is no longer part of the beef event (although stock can be sold by private treaty from the farm after the event), show cattle do not have to be pre-movement tested to take part in the showing classes.

The Primestock show, sponsored by Southern Counties Fresh Foods, has 10 native and continental classes including Supreme Champion, Reserve Champion and Champion Bred & Fed Awards. New this year is the Young Farmer’s Showman of the Year 2010, sponsored by Mole Valley Farmers where a young farmer prepares a show animal on the day from start to finish! There’s also Young Farmer’s Stock Judging Competitions with generous prize money.

There will be strong competition in the South West Yearling Young Bull of the Year class sponsored by Exeter Market Auctioneers, while the Suckled Calf competitions and Moorland Challenge sponsored by Bodmin Moor Livestock Initiative, showcase the cream of the store cattle producers.

Meanwhile at Key Issues Corner, sponsored by ABP, there will be some feisty, informative workshops from Dr Basil Lowman of the Scottish Agriculture College on suckler cow and calf winter management – hugely topical in view of the likely forage shortages this winter; while Miriam Parker MBE, who advises on moving and handling cattle safely on farm and in abattoirs, will be talking about fear and flight zones. Miriam featured on the recent BBC2 Jimmy’s Private Life of Cows, teaching Jimmy Doherty how to understand the psychology of cattle hard wired to fear and flight.

Outside in the Machinery & Cattle Handling area, sponsored by JCB, McCormick, Kuhn and RSM Beares, there will be practical cattle crush demonstrations by the Health & Safety Inspectorate. Over the last 2 years HSE has carried out some joint working with the British Veterinary Association and DEFRA to look at on farm accidents in the cattle crush and how some of these can be prevented, particularly when TB testing.

One of the most entertaining features of Beef South West is sure to be the EBLEX Butchery & Cookery Theatre with a programme of demonstrations featuring butchers from Phillip Dennis Food Service, chef Dez Turnland of Brend Hotels, Taste of the West Professional Chef of the Year Matthew Downing of the Jack & the Green, Rockbeare near Exeter and Hugh Judd of EBLEX master of ceremonies, compeering the programme. Here the final of the South West Steak of the Year competition takes place sponsored by Southern Counties Fresh Foods, when Adam Henson judges the champion steak! Right next to the Theatre will be the Rib of Beef Competition sponsored by Stillmans as well as the Mini Food Festival sponsored by Exeter Festival of South West Food & Drink with mouth watering local and regional produce to sample and take home.

Finally, come a day early and enjoy the free Farm Walk on Tuesday 28th September 2.30 pm hosted by Patrick and Sheila Greed at their lowland farm near Exeter with pedigree Limousins and commercial cattle, sponsored by Columbpark Limousins, Westcroft Limousins and Matt the Foot Trimmer. Come and learn of the breeding, feeding and out wintering systems the Greeds have put in place to drive cost out. There’s also the Beef Event Supper at the Stockman’s Restaurant in the Livestock Centre the night before the show, with prime South Devon beef and a speaker to entertain, sponsored by the South Devon Herd Book Society. Both of these events need to be pre-booked either by email or telephone 01392 278801.

Without a doubt there’s a jam packed programme at Beef South West and whether you’re a seasoned producer or just starting out, it’s well worth the visit.

For more information and how to get there visit with free Park & Ride from the A30 next to the Devon Hotel. Tickets £10 Children under 16 and Young Farmers £5.

link Greystoke Castle Farms Open Day; Blueprint for Suckled Calf Production
link Rare Shetland Cattle Breed Needed to Feed the World
link Northern Ireland Commercial Cattle Exhibitors’ Club Show 2010

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