This year’s Beef Expo at York Auction Centre, North Yorkshire, has features that should appeal to commercial and pedigree cattle producers. Here are six highlights:
The theme running through this year’s event will be advice to help farmers get to grips with the changing lifestyles of modern consumers in order to help producers better meet expectations. There will be a consumer session, running in the morning and then again in the afternoon, which will look at changing fashions in meat consumption and the continuing growth of ready meals and food that is quick and easy to cook.
Technology will be the focus of the seminar sessions, which will examine what is currently available to livestock farmers, as well as what might be developed in the longer term. Three topics have been chosen for discussion – the benefits of EID to the beef industry; video image analysis (VIA) grading; and remote cattle management, which includes precision farming.
The very best in pedigree and commercial cattle will be shown at the National Spring Spectacular Show. There will be 15 classes, four championships and a supreme championship, with a total prize pot on offer of £5,000. There will be classes for native, continental, British Blue and Limousin-sired stock, baby beef classes, two young handlers’ events and an auctioneers’ handler challenge.
With 150 exhibitors in attendance there will be plenty of new kit and products on show that could help farmers add profits to their business. There will also be working demonstrations of some feeding and bedding machines, as well as foot-trimming and pneumonia workshops.
Visitors are also to able to book a place on the farm tours, which take place the day before the main Expo event. Three East Yorkshire farms will be welcoming visitors to find out more about their pedigree and commercial cattle enterprises. They are: Wold Farm, Bishop Wiliton (JSR Farms); High College Farm, Millington (Ashcourt Farming); and Londesborough Wold Farm (GD Stephenson & Sons). Tickets will be limited to the first 300 applicants.
New for 2015 is the Future Beef Farmer Challenge, which will see teams and individual young farmers compete to demonstrate their knowledge of breeding and genetics, cattle health, nutrition and cattle selection for slaughter. The challenge, designed to test both business skills and technical expertise, aims to help find the next generation of progressive beef farmers.
*Beef Expo takes place on Thursday 21 May 2015