Moray will be hosting Scotland’s first national beef show, Beef Event 2011, which takes place at Corskie Farm, Garmouth, Fochabers, on Wednesday, 1 June.
The event, organised by the National Beef Association, is set to be a major showcase for Scotland’s beef industry, with 120 trade stands and an attendance of several thousand beef producers and industry professionals expected.
One of the major attractions of the event will be the opportunity to view 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 suckler 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 the NBA and chairman of NBA Scotland, emphasises 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 low-ground 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 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.”
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.
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.
Further information from Euan Emslie, E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org