There’s no better judge than Ryan Atkinson, director of R & J Catering Butchers in Kirkby Malzeard, near Ripon, when it comes to knowing his meat – both on the hoof and on the bone.
Ryan Atkinson, of R & J Catering Butchers, is pictured right after his success in the national young farmers stock judging competition with the show president and EBLEX representative, and fellow title-winning beef stockjudging team member, Anna Stapleton.
Ryan, 26, won the national senior title at the Beef Live and Carcase stock judging competition, organised by The National Federation of Young Farmers Clubs and held at 2010 English Winter Fair at Staffordshire County Showground.
A total of of 112 competitors representing the cream of young farmers’ clubs across England and Wales put their stock judging skills to the test at the two-day contest. They judged live animals on day one – pedigree Limousins and Continental beef cattle - and on the second day were required to place a group of beef carcases in order of merit and give the reasons why.
As well as clinching the senior beef title, Ryan and fellow Yorkshire team member Anna Stapleton, of Skipton with Silsden YFC, also won The Smithfield Trophy for the best overall beef stockjudging team.
Ryan, who for three years was chairman of Winksley Cum Grantley Young Farmers’ Club, qualified for the national finals after winning the Yorkshire Live and Carcase competition held at wholesale butchers John Penny & Sons in Rawdon, Leeds, where he was the pick of 70 competitors from across the county.
The national event was sponsored by EBLEX and hosted by the Staffordshire and Birmingham Agricultural Society, with awards presented by the Royal Smithfield Club.
Ryan puts his success – the last winner from Yorkshire was in 1998 - down to the in-depth knowledge and skills honed over the years since he joined the family business six years ago.
R & J Catering Butchers was established in 1978 by his parents Robert and Jo Atkinson and Ryan is the fifth generation of his family to be involved in farming.
He said: “The across-the-board expertise dad and myself have developed in the both livestock and meat industry is crucial when it comes to breeding and selecting prime quality beef, lamb and pork for our ever-growing customer base across the North of England.
“We sell our own farm-reared and fattened prime beef and lamb, as well as sourcing these and other meat, poultry and game products from local farmers and estates within a 15-mile radius. Buying locally in support of other local producers is central to our entire philosophy.
“We supply many high profile catering establishments and some of the county’s leading chefs. They demand the very best – and we always aim to deliver it. Our ethos is to fill our chefs full of confidence when it comes to farming and supplying prime quality meat for their customers’ tables.”
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