Sustainability will be the central theme for this year’s Beef Expo event at Perth Market, Perthshire, on 21 May and the organisers are promising it will be the biggest and best Beef Event yet.
Visitors to the event will be able to quiz the leading suppliers of all products to find ways forward in a world with diminishing support payments and increasing input costs, explains Randal Wilson, chairman of the Beef Expo 2008 organising committee.
“Many beef farmers are already planning their strategies for a sustainable and profitable future with much reduced levels of support. Beef Expo will help many find a way forward by bringing together the latest technical, economic and marketing expertise, including genetics, husbandry and management.”
Increased efficiency on-farm will be a key determinant of beef enterprise profitability and that central theme will run through the pre-event conference as three leading speakers will express their forthright views on the future of the beef industry.
First on the platform will be Donald Biggar, chairman of QMS and a leading cattle breeder from Castle Douglas, Dumfriesshire. Joining Mr Biggar will be Mike Tempest, technical director of the Livestock and Meat Commission, Northern Ireland, who will explain the work of LMC in helping the Northern Irish beef and sheep sector become profitable in a free market.
The final speaker will be Brian Pack, chief executive of the ANM Group, who has experience at all levels of the beef sector, with ANM having interests in both live marketing and processing.
Prior to the conference, visitors to the event will be able to visit two leading beef farms as part of the event’s farm tours, taking place the day before Beef Expo, visitors will be able to see both pedigree and commercial beef herds and a demonstration of cattle handling by world renowned expert Temple Grandin from Colorado State University.
How to reduce labour inputs
Prof Grandin is respected globally for her far sighted practical work in cattle behaviour and handling, explains NBA director Kim Haywood. “Labour is often listed as the biggest limiting factor on many units, so Prof Grandin’s knowledge of how to reduce labour inputs and cut back time on routine cattle handling tasks should be invaluable.”
The first farm will be 607ha (1500-acre) Ballathie Estate which runs pedigree herds of both Aberdeen Angus and Charolais alongside a 200-cow commercial suckler herd of Angus cross cows put to Charolais bulls.
Additionally, the estate offers a cattle livery service which offers a comprehensive range of flushing and embryo transfer services, as well as preparation of animals for show and sale.
Second stop on the tour will be Incheoch, home to the McGowan family and their herd of 200 cows, including pedigree Luings and Simmentals. Visitors will also be able to see a demonstration of the Luing Cattle Society’s pioneering dam classification programme.
Beef Expo takes place on 21 May at Perth Market, Perthshire, Scotland. Entry to the event costs £10+VAT, while a place on the pre-event farm tours costs £12+ VAT and admittance to the pre-event conference costs £5+VAT.