Follow the herd to a showcase event

The Stephenson family.

The Stephenson family.

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The National Beef Association’s showcase event takes place in the North next month.

The NBA Beef Expo is being held at York Auction Centre on Thursday, May 21.

A highlight of this event is always the farm tours which take place the previous day and this year will be no exception.

Sponsored by Carrs Billington, the host farms include Millington Grange, home to one of the UK’s largest pedigree herds of Limousin Cattle; GD Stephenson & Sons Ltd, a traditional and commercial Yorkshire family farm; and Wold Farm, home of the famous Givendale herd of Stabiliser cows and The Beef Improvement Group’s Net Efficiency Unit.

Richard Tasker, partner in the York Auction Centre and chairman of NBA Beef Expo 2015, said: “The aim of the farm tours is to share knowledge so that beef farmers can maximise efficiency on their own farms.

“The three host farms have been specifically chosen to give our visitors an insight as to how Yorkshire pedigree and commercial cattle enterprises are operating their businesses.

“Not only do they highlight the diversity of the beef industry, they will also demonstrate the latest technology being used to monitor and improve efficiency, maximise outputs and reduce costs.”

The Millington Grange Estate, owned by Bob Bousfield, is home of the Millington Limousin Herd.

The farming enterprise totals 850 acres and the Limousin herd comprises 50 pedigree Limousin cows and 20 Limousin cross-bred cows. Over the years, the herd has won many awards and accolades, and in 2014 it was winner of the Extra Large Herd Competition. The cattle portfolio also includes a 13-strong Schoardale herd of pedigree Shorthorns.

At GD Stephenson & Sons Ltd, near Market Weighton, there is a 200-strong commercial suckler herd of Limousin cross, Salers cross and South Devon cross cows. More than 95 per cent of the cattle are finished on the farm.

The visits to JSR Farm’s Givendale herd will give farmers the opportunity to see The Beef Improvement Group’s Net Efficiency Unit.

JSR Farms is a family business which farms around 9,000 acres. Part of this business is 1,200 acres of land comprising Givendale and Wold Farms, home of the renowned Givendale Herd of Stabiliser Cattle. Givendale was the first farm to have Stabiliser Cattle in the UK, with the herd being established in 1996. Today they have 240 spring-calving suckler cows.

Beef Expo covers all aspects of the industry. This year there is a major focus on helping farmers boost their bottom line by getting to grips with the changing lifestyles and demands of modern consumers.

After the farm tours take place, there will be a dinner at York Racecourse, with guest speaker Jim Wright, son of Alf Wright, better known by the pen name James Heriot.

The farm tours cost £25 per person including a packed lunch and VAT. Tickets for the dinner are £33.33 + VAT. The cost of the farm tour and entrance to Beef Expo for NBA members is £30 , non-members £35. Book online at www.nationalbeefassociation.com/Beef-Expo-2015

Meanwhile, a snapshot of technology and the benefits which can be derived from it will be highlighted in a series of seminars taking place at the NBA Beef Expo.

Presenters will also be looking into their high-tech crystal balls and predicting how new technology will bring about future developments within the beef industry.

The beef industry’s flagship spring event will host three seminars designed to attract beef farmers and processors looking to create a sustainable enterprise for the future.

Sharing their knowledge and the most up-to-date information, the speakers are all experts from a range of sectors within the industry.

The aim is to help farmers and processors understand what technology is currently available, what will be available in the very near future, what will become available in the longer term and how this technology can work for farmers.

The three seminars are: EID Benefits the Beef Industry; VIA the Future of Grading; and Remote Cattle Management – Advances in Cattle Management.

Reflecting key changes in the sector at the moment, this year’s topics have been carefully chosen to provide beef farmers with a better understanding of how to utilise technology to better support their enterprise’s and highlight what the future holds for the industry.

The format of the seminars presents a lively carousel of ideas and opinion on the three themes. Each speaker will be given 15 minutes for a presentation with a 15-minute Q & A session at the end.

The EID Benefits the Beef Industry speakers are Robert Neill, of Upper Nisbit Farm, near Jedburgh; Robin Batchelor, from Caisley Eartag; and Chris Mallon, from the NBA.

In the VIA the Future of Grading seminar, beef farmer and NBA director Adrian Ivory, of Strathisla Farms, will give practical examples as to how VIA will change his selection and breeding policies going forward.

The third and final seminar of the day, Remote Cattle Management and Advances in Cattle Management, will be overviewing precision farming in the beef industry, focusing on the opportunities for genetic improvement through reproductive technologies.

As well as the three seminars, the NBA Beef Expo offers the opportunity to meet breeders and learn more about the industry’s latest technical developments. It is chance to network, meet potential new customers and take home a few new ideas.

For more details, visit www.beefexpo.co.uk