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Stackyard News Nov 2011

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Local Farms Under Spotlight at English Winter Fair

Local farmers and growers take on the challenge in competitive classes for livestock, produce and pork-based products at this month’s English Winter Fair livestock showcase, Stafford, on the weekend of Nov 19-20.

English Winter Fair

With an expected entry of up to 400 cattle, a large penning of lambs and live pig classes running alongside carcase and produce competitions stewards are putting the final touches to preparations for the Midland-based event that kicks off the nationwide winter livestock show scene for many.

“We’re certainly looking forward to a very busy and very enjoyable weekend,” comments show chairman and local farmer Graham Roobottom. The focus remains on providing a family-friendly visit with livestock classes, carcase competitions, BPEX-backed pork product competitions for locally made sausage, bacon, gammon and pork pies, as well as cereal and forage classes running along side machinery, sundry supplier trade stands and the busy retail craft areas.

“Once again with Staffordshire Young Farmers Clubs we are delighted to be hosting the National Federation of Young Farmers club’s stock and carcase judging competitions. We hope visitors will come along and support members many of whom we hope will become the next generation of farmers,” he adds.

Prize carcases - English Winter Fair
With the importance of retail markets in minds the organisers would be delighted to welcome new entrants to the BPEX-backed pork product competitions with classes for bacon, sausage, gammon, hot/cold and speciality eating pies all made with British pork. Entries can be taken in the run up to the show before classes get underway at 10am on Sunday 20th.

“Local businesses have been very supportive and - as organisers - we are very grateful to those companies and breed societies which sponsor classes at the show for the on-going support. 2011 has been a very challenging year again for farming with uncertainty over harvest and fluctuation in input costs and commodity prices.”

A number of small changes have been made to this year’s event to improve the show for exhibitors and visitors alike. The cattle carcase competition has seen a tweak to class weight bands in response to requests by exhibitors and the opportunity to exhibit more machinery for prospective purchases has been made to local businesses.

“On behalf of the show committee I look forward to welcoming visitors old and new to this year’s English Winter Fair which we hope - with the help of exhibitors and the farming public - will build on the success of previous years in promoting the very best of British farming.”

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