Moray will be hosting Scotland’s first national beef event when Scotland’s Beef Event 2011 takes place at Corskie Farm, Garmouth, Fochabers, on Wednesday, June 1.
All ready for Scotland's Beef Event 2011 (l-r) organiser Euan Esmlie, NBA Scotland chairman, Hamish McBean, and host farmer, Iain Green.
The event, organised by the National Beef Association, is set to be a major showcase for Scotland’s beef industry with 120 trade stands – far exceeding expectations – and an attendance of several thousand beef producers and industry professionals from throughout Scotland and further afield.
One of the major attractions of the event will be the opportunity of viewing the renowned Corskie herd of host farmers, Jimmy and Iain Green, which is one of the top pedigree Simmental herds in the country and part of an extensive beef enterprise of 440 sucklers cows on three farms – Corskie, Pluscarden and Duffus.
Other features of the jam-packed day will include a farm tour by tractor and trailer, practical demonstrations, a stockjudging competition organised by the Scottish Simmental Club and an on-going programme of short, sharp seminars on topical issues facing beef producers featuring leading speakers from all sectors of the industry.
Event chairman, Hamish McBean, Score Farm, Glenferness, Nairn, who is national vice-chairman of NBA and chairman of NBA Scotland, emphasises that the focus will be on commercial beef production with a particular emphasis on animal health and the advantages of maintaining a closed herd.
The event, he says, will provide the ideal opportunity for beef producers to access the latest technical and marketing information, covering genetics, nutrition, mechanisation and markets, which farmers need to run a successful and profitable beef enterprise.
All farmers, and particularly beef producers, are facing challenging times and a period of uncertainty while the future of the Common Agricultural Policy is being debated throughout Europe.
The continuation of the Single Farm Payment in some form and the Less Favoured Areas Support Scheme will be absolutely vital to the future of beef production in Scotland.
“The engine room of the Scottish beef industry is the hills and uplands where the calves on which lowground finishers depend are born and on which Scotland’s important meat processing industry also ultimately depends for their raw materials,” said Mr McBean.
The beef suckler herd has been declining in recent years but the latest census indicates that cow numbers may have stabilised.
“Hopefully, the industry has turned the corner and the recent long overdue surge in prime, store and breeding stock prices indicates confidence is returning,” said Mr McBean.
“The longer term implications of an expanding world population, climate change and the growing economies of China and the Far East, suggest we can face the future with confidence and play an important part in feeding a hungry world.”
Scotland’s Beef Event 2011 is supported by Scotland’s red meat promotional body, Quality Meat Scotland, and the mainline sponsors are Bank of Scotland, Billy Miller Contractor and Plant Hire, British Simmental Cattle Society, BvL UK, Caltech, Coltel, Harbro, Intervet Schering-Plough, Tennants Elgin and United Auctions.
The event will be open from 9.00am to 5.00pm and the official opening by BBC Countryfile presenter, Adam Henson, is scheduled for 11.30am. The first farm tour will leave at 9.00am and three seminars will be held at 10.30am, 12.30pm and 1.30pm with a Question Time-style question and answer session at 3.30pm.
HOW TO GET THERE
Corskie Farm is situated one mile west of the village of Garmouth, near Fochabers. Directions to the farm will be signposted from the A96 from Mosstodloch for traffic coming from the east and south and from Elgin and Lhanbryde for traffic from the north and west. There will be no access from the Garmouth-Lossiemouth road.
Well-known television personality, Adam Henson, will be spending the day at Scotland’s Beef Event and performing the official opening ceremony.
Adam is one of the regular presenters of Countryfile on BBC1 and also Lambing Live on BBC2 which over the past two springs has brought the realities of lambing and farming in general into the living rooms of the British public.
He is farmer himself in Gloucestershire running the 650ha family farm which includes a large commercial sheep enterprise and the Cotswold Farm Park which is home to 50 rare breeds of cattle and sheep and attracts more than 70,000 visitors a year.
Adam has become a strong advocate for farming through his broadcasting and public appearances and rare ability to present farming and food production in an understandable way to the general public. He was named Farming Champion in the 2010 Farmers Weekly Awards for his achievements in representing British farming to the public.
Animal health, reversing the downward trend in Scotland’s beef suckler herd and the marketing of Scotch beef will be the subjects addressed by leading industry experts in three seminars to be held at the event.
Speakers will include Sheila Voas, the Scottish Government’s deputy chief vet, Paul Burr, managing director of Biobest Herdcare, and Willie Thomson, technical director of Harbro (Healthy Cattle/Health Profits); Robbie Newlands, Cluny, Forres, QMS monitor farmer, Gavin Hill, team leader, Beef and Sheep Select, SAC, and Neil McCorkindale, Scammadale, by Oban, co-vice-chairman, NBA Scotland (Sucklers – Reversing the Downward Trend); and Lauren Vernet, head of marketing, QMS and Alan McNaughton, site director, Vion - McIntosh Donald, Portlethen (Adding Value to the Scotch Beef Brand).
The seminars will be chaired by Kim Haywood, director, National Beef Association, Jim Stewart, Kinbroon, Rothienorman, co-vice-chairman, NBA Scotland, and Jim Royan, Butcher, Elgin, who recently stood down as a board member of QMS.
The seminar programme will conclude with a Question Time question and answer discussion chaired by Ken Rundle, head of communications with SAC and former BBC agricultural correspondent.
The panel will include Kim Haywood, Adam Henson, QMS chairman, Jim McLaren, and NFU Scotland president, Nigel Miller.
Visitors to Scotland’s Beef Event 2011 will have the opportunity of competing for £400 in prizemoney in a novel stockjudging competition organised by the Scottish Simmental Club and sponsored by Trident.
There will be four classes of Simmental cross cattle – steers, yearling heifers, bulling heifers and cows and calves – and the master judge will be British Simmental Society president, Michael Robson, from Northern Ireland.
The overall winner will receive £100 and winners in each of the two age categories (under 26 and 26 and over) will receive £75 for first, £50 for second and £25 third which means the overall winner stands to win a total of £175.
A number of practical demonstrations will take place throughout the day including the electronic identification (EID) of cattle by Allflex and the cleaning of cattle courts with Ruminant Cleaner by Turriff Agri Parts.
Almost 150 P6 and P7 pupils from three local primary schools will be attending Scotland’s Beef Event 2011 to learn all about how beef is produced and the importance of beef in a healthy, balanced diet.
The pupils from Lhanbryde, Milnes Primary (Fochabers) and Mosstodloch will spend the morning at the event on a visit organised by the Royal Highland Education Trust in conjunction with the Royal Northern Countryside Initiative.
The children will be conducted on an organised tour of the event by local farmer volunteers and will spend 10-15 minutes at six points of interest – the Simmental cattle, Quality Meat Scotland (the importance of beef in the diet), Norvite (animal nutrition), machinery, beef cookery and their own project area where they will be giving short presentations on a project on beef production which they have been doing in school over the past few weeks.
Awards for the best presentation are being donated by Royal Bank of Scotland whose regional agricultural manager, Emma Cowie, will judge the projects along with Mrs Ann-Marie Murnion, wife of NBA president, Oisin Murnion from Northern Ireland.
Coaches for the schools are being sponsored by NBA and the children will enjoy an ice cream from Ashers Ice Cream.
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