NBA Beef Expo Triumphs for British Beef Industry

After a three year wait, the UK’s largest technical beef event, NBA Beef Expo, returned this year with a record turnout of spectators.

Held at Darlington Farmers Auction Mart (DFAM), the National Beef Association’s Beef Expo 2022 was a record-breaking show with around 6,000 visitors through the gates. Bringing together the very best in British commercial and pedigree cattle, equipment, ground-breaking developments and show classes for everyone involved in the industry.

A true celebration and exploration of everything the British beef industry has to offer, the event started on Friday 27th May with over 150 people undertaking the two farm tours at South Farm, Cornsay, and Bracken House Farm, Melsonby. The Suddes family have farmed South Farm for over 100 years where they have a herd of 120 pedigree Limousin cows.  The Richardson’s have been at Bracken House since 1916 and finish between six and seven hundred cattle a year.  The weather was kind, and everyone learnt a great deal from these exemplary farms.

Saturday saw beef farmers travel the length and breadth of the UK to gather at DFAM for the National Commercial Cattle Show which featured over 120 head of cattle across 16 classes and four Championships. Expertly judged by Welsh duo Bryn Lloyd and Dafydd Lewis,

Overall Supreme Champion

Overall Supreme Champion was awarded to B&L Wilkinson, from Leyburn North Yorkshire for their home bred Limousin Heifer Maggie, shown by 22-year-old Beth Wilkinson. The reserve Supreme animal was exhibited by Stewart and Lindsay Bett from Stirling, Scotland and bred by W P Hughes, Anglesey.

The Baby Beef Champion was a June 2021 exhibitor bred heifer from Edwards Brothers, Corwen, Denbighshire, Wales. The Baby Beef Reserve Champion was a June 2021 heifer bred by P & A Jarman, from Cumbria and exhibited by Andrew Ewing from Annan, Dumfriesshire, Scotland.


The Champion Young Handler was Amy Vance, aged 14 from Whithorn, Newton Stewart, Scotland. The reserve Champion Young Handler was Orlena Henderson, aged 17, from County Durham, England.

Commenting on his selection, Bryn said: “There was not a lot of difference between the two – both are excellent heifers. Both have great style and exceptional tops and correctness, however, as soon as I saw the winner, I just thought it can’t get better than this.”

This year, the Ghyll House Perpetual Trophy was awarded for the first time to the Overall Supreme Champion in memory of Hannah Brown. On being awarded Overall Supreme Champion, Beth said: “To win like this at Beef Expo is just amazing, especially with a homebred animal. This is our first show of the season, so we’ve set the bar high!”

No NBA Beef Expo is complete without pride in excellence and, in addition to the phenomenal livestock showcased by pedigree and commercial breeders, there were demonstrations, commercial trade stands and breed society stands.

Wagyu, 1st for Farmers

The Best Breed Society Stand award was presented to Wagyu, 1st for Farmers was awarded Best Indoor Trade Stand, and Glendale Engineering scooped Best Outdoor Trade Stand.

The series of four seminars included presentations from several world leading experts, including Christine Middlemiss, the UK’s Chief Veterinary Officer, who discussed the importance of electronic identification and traceability for the beef industry, and the role the Livestock Information Service (LIS) will have in endemic disease control. John Powell Head of Agriculture Sectors Team at Defra gave an overview of the changes in agricultural policy in England and Alice Stanton Professor of Cardiovascular Pharmacology at the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland, and Director of Human Health at Devenish Nutrition, discussed how much red meat is good for human health, and the importance of transparent evidence-based health metrics.

Discussing the day’s successes, NBA Chief Executive, Neil Shand said: “We’ve waited three years for this event, and it most definitely exceeded all our expectations. I am overwhelmed by the support from exhibitors, sponsors, and the local farming community. To see how far people have travelled to be part of our event today is just incredible, so thank you.

“Once again, this event is testament to the strength and resilience of the British beef industry. Today, under one roof, we have had a number of world leaders speaking to our breeders and producers to help them secure the future of our industry and these seminars have certainly created much discussion and debate. The trade stands have been busy throughout the day and of course for many, the cattle show was as expected truly outstanding, and a showcase of some of the very best of British Beef cattle and of course congratulations must go to the overall of Champions of Champions the Wilkinson family for their homebred heifer Maggie.”

One highlight of the day was the Young Handler Championship which was won by Amy Vance from Newton Stewart. Reserve was awarded to Orlena Henderson. Judge Dafydd Lewis took a somewhat different approach by asking the two finalists to swap animals. This posed a slightly different challenge and required both handlers to put all their skills to the test. Amy was described as confident in the ring as well as in her handling and caught the eye of the judges from entering the ring.

With all hosted by DFAM, the new state-of-the-art exhibition centre provided a perfect venue for Beef Expo. Rounding up the event, Mark Dent, Chairman for DFAM, said: “It has been a privilege to host the 2022 NBA Beef Expo. I am certain everyone will agree that is has been a fantastic day which has really highlighted the importance of these events for bringing people together.

“Special thanks must go to all the staff here at the mart for all their hard work in setting up and making today run so successfully.”

Beef Expo

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