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Beef producers from across the UK will gather at next month’s Beef Expo show – the flagship event to celebrate the best of British... Beef sector gears up for major showcase

Beef producers from across the UK will gather at next month’s Beef Expo show – the flagship event to celebrate the best of British cattle breeding.

Organised by the National Beef Association, the one-day exhibition is scheduled to coincide with Great British Beef Week – being held on 27 April at North West Auctions, at Junction 36 of the M6 motorway, near Kendal, Cumbria.

Beef Expo’s highly competitive show classes will once again showcase some of the UK’s best bloodlines. A panel of leading experts will address the most important issues facing the industry in an information-packed seminar programme.

Building success

NBA chief executive Neil Shand said he was keen to build on the success of the last Beef Expo – which was the first since the Covid pandemic and held on the other side of the country at Darlington Farmers’ Auction Mart in 2022.

Mr Shand said the 2022 event attracted a record number of visitors from across the country to the north-east. He added: “We’re confident we have the right programme, venue and location to repeat this success in the north west.

“This is a highly productive part of the UK for suckler and beef cattle, and North West Auctions’ combination of experience, expertise, and exceptional facilities make this the ideal venue for an outstanding event.”

In a bid to attract more visitors, the event has been streamlined – to one Saturday only. Free to visitors, the event will focus on top quality cattle and the importance of sharing beef performance information.

Significant challenge

“Beef breeders and farmers are facing a very significant challenge in the transition of UK farming policy after Brexit,” said Mr Shand.

“The aim is to create a perfect platform for everybody involved in the industry to network, find out how to make the best of the grants and subsidies available, and recharge their enthusiasm and commitment.”

North West Auctions managing director David Pritchard said he recognised the importance of the event for beef producers – and was very mindful of the particular challenges faced by farmers.

“It is a privilege to be chosen to host it again here at our J36, Rural Auction Centre in 2024 and we are very much looking forward to working with the NBA to make it an event to remember for those who are both exhibiting and attending.”

Top judges lined up for cattle classes

Judges for the National Commercial Cattle Show – held as part of the NBA Beef Expo – will cast their eye over some of the highest quality UK cattle.

Northamptonshire’s Frank Page will judge the Native and Continental classes and the Supreme Championships. Meanwhile, Lincolnshire’s Jonathan Lyon will judge the Baby Beef classes, the Baby Championship and Young Handler classes.

The National Commercial Cattle Show will see some 120 head of cattle compete in the 10 cattle classes for steers and heifers with the overall winner taking home the Supreme Championship title.

Tremendous livestock

Mr Page farms 336ha near Elkington. The family’s cattle enterprise comprises 140 beef suckler cows, with Limousin x British Blue or British Blue x Limousin cows put to British Blue and Limousin Bulls.

“We have tremendous livestock here in the UK and I am looking forward to seeing the cream of the crop,” he said. “In terms of what I will be looking for, it will be well fleshed, stylish, correct cattle with good conformation.”

Mr Lyon farms 130ha near Bourne in Lincolnshire. The farm is home to 70 suckler cows and a flock of 140 ewes. The Limousin x and Belgium Blue x run with three pedigree Limousin and one Belgium Blue bulls.

“An animal which catches your eye when it comes into the ring, with a wide, square stance and a very good top line, I’ll be looking for good depth in the hind quarter and whether it’s a calf or a bigger animal it needs to have a good, full loin.”