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Stackyard News Oct 2012

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Record Entries for Northern Livestock Event

Now in its 6th year, Borderway Agri-Expo has made its name as the leading livestock event in the North of England.

Borderway Agri-Expo 2011

Borderway Agri-Expo

The 2012 Borderway Agri-Expo, to be held on Friday 2nd of November is however expected to be larger than ever with over 800 livestock entries entered from across the UK. The event, which attracts over 10,000 visitors, will also see in the region of 150 trade exhibitor stands and 20 breed societies attending all helping to make it the agricultural spectacle it has become.

Organisers, Harrison & Hetherington have been working hard to achieve an event that appeals to both specialist livestock breeders, farmers and trade exhibitors alike from throughout the UK and now approaching their sixth show they have fulfilled just this.

The inaugural Agri-Expo began with just 200 livestock entries and in a short space of time it has grown into a showcase for some of the finest livestock in the country. It now attracts visitors, breeders and farmers from all over the United Kingdom, giving farmers a chance to view the cream of the country’s livestock, as well as network and catch up on the latest news and technology developments away from the farm.

With a prize fund of £12,000 it is livestock competition at its very best and will see some of the top breeders in the UK come together in one central location. This year’s judges represent the four corners of the United Kingdom and will have a tough job ahead of them selecting the cream of the crop.

Borderway Agri-Expo showcases the very best of the agricultural industry and this year’s classes are no exception. The Sheep Show includes 17 commercial classes. There are also a number of special prizes with the most prestigious being the Borderway Agri-Expo Perpetual Challenge Trophy, going to the overall champion pair of lambs. Judging the sheep will be Mr Bill McKinnon, Procurement Manager for Scotbeef Ltd, Stirling and also Brian Ridsdale, a prominent mule lamb farmer from Cumbria.

With 19 cattle classes and almost £2000 in special prizes up for grabs the cattle classes will be judged by two experts in their field. Mr Gareth Corrie of both Corrie Meats and Drumhilla Farm in Northern Ireland will judge the Native & Continental Cattle. The Baby Beef Judge will be Mr John McAlister of West Thomaston Farm in Stirlingshire.

19 year old Nathan Grainger of Kiln Close Farm near Wigton is preparing three British blue cross heifers to be shown. This is his fifth year showing at Agri Expo and he says the competition gets stronger every time,

“There are a lot more people taking part now compared to when it first started. We have taken third place in a class two years running.”

This year though he thinks he has the breeding to do better.

“The first show with an animal is always nerve wracking but if you have trained it well there should not be a problem. It takes about a month to get them quiet and I try and walk them every day for about half an hour. It is all about spending time with them and getting them used to different noises”.

What’s new for 2012?

The Walkers Shortbread Aberdeen-Angus Show Herd of the Year Competition 2012

New Trade Stands including the Highland Cattle Society, Blue Grey Cattle Group. Britmilk, Advantage Feeders, Kiwikit Ltd and Cowcare Systems Ltd.

Skid Steer Demonstrations with C T Hayton Ltd

As in previous years many of the UK Breed Societies use the Borderway Agri-Expo for their annual or winter shows and this year the event includes

  • Aberdeen Angus Winter National Show

  • Border British Blue Calf Show

  • Beef Shorthorn National Calf Show

  • Hereford National Calf Show

  • Simmental Regional Calf Show

These Breed Societies play a major role in filling the classes at Agri-Expo. This year entries for the Beef Shorthorn Classes are up almost 30% on last year and Frank Milnes, Breed Society Secretary tells us why Borderway Agri-Expo is such an important platform for the breed:

“We are very pleased with the response and the success of Agri-Expo and this is demonstrated in this year’s increased entries. At the moment the Beef Shorthorn Society is going through a very successful period. We have increased registration and memberships which can be attributed to the support that received through Morrisons Traditional Beef Scheme in addition to people’s realisations that the Beef Shorthorn is the ideal functional suckler cow.”

“Events such as Agri-Expo all help to raise the profile of the breed and to keep the breed in the public eye”.

John Yates, Chief Executive of the British Texel Sheep Society also commented,

“This year's Borderway Agri-Expo once again offers an excellent opportunity for livestock breeders to showcase their stock, meet up and visit the many trade stands to learn about the latest innovations in breeding, feeding and livestock management. The event is a credit to Harrison & Hetherington. The organising team have taken the initiative and listened to traders and exhibitors in order to fine tune the event over the last few years.”

"I have no doubt Agri-Expo will continue to succeed and deliver a valuable service to the industry. The Solway and Tyne Texel Club and the Texel Society will be offering further support to the event and welcome both commercial producers and members to their trade stand.”

"The Texel exhibits at the event show what Texel sires can achieve under a variety of systems and management regimes. Consistency is the main priority when producing prime lambs and Texel sires deliver excellent carcasses week in, week out, in volume as shown across Auction marts the breadth of the UK. Texel have clearly demonstrated their value to commercial sheep production standing up to the challenges of adverse weather conditions, and rising input costs”.

Borderway Agri-Expo has made Young Farmers Competitions a traditional part of the show, encouraging the next generation of farmers. This year the Young Farmers Competition will include the hugely popular YFC Stockman of the Year competition; the competition is split into two categories, 16 and under and an over 16 class. This title comes with prize money of £100 and is sponsored by David Allan Accountants of Cumbria.

David Pritchard, Operations Director of Harrison & Hetherington comments on the evolution of Borderway Agri-Expo:

“A number of years ago now we saw a distinct opening for an event like this in the North of England. It is competitive but also an educational insight into the very best of UK breeding for both sheep and cattle. We are bringing together the very best in the business and they are showing us just how it is done.”

“It is an opportunity to bring together breed societies and the trade stands that demonstrate to us the latest developments in science and technologies that will all contribute to improving the agricultural industry here in the UK. We are very much looking forward to welcoming everyone to the Borderway Exhibition Centre on the 2nd of November. It is sure to be a brilliant day once again”.

The exhibitions and demonstrations are always a highlight and this year there are more trade stands and exhibits than ever. All the country’s main Breed Societies for Cattle and Sheep will be on hand to explain more about the special traits of each particular breed. There is also a wide range of supporting services and machinery shows and demonstrations providing everything from financial advice to feedstuffs, clothing to cattle equipment, tags to tractors and veterinary services to vitamins.

Any major event is not possible without sponsorship and support: Harrison & Hetherington would like to thank all those who take part in the show, the livestock farmers, the exhibitors and very importantly all of the sponsors. This year the main show sponsors are Carrs Billington, WM Morrison Supermarkets PLC, Norbrook Laboratories (GB) Ltd, Lloyds TSB Agriculture and Farmers Guardian. New sponsors this year are Cogent Signature Beef the market leader in sexed semen technology and supply with an unrivalled reputation for its world-class breeding programme. Cogent’s unparalleled expertise, cutting edge technology and distinguished selection of proven bulls gives breeders in the UK and Worldwide access to superior bovine genetics.

Gareth Scott, Beef Sales Manager of Cogent comments:

‘Cogent are privileged to be one of the main sponsors of the Agri-Expo, as we have seen over the past few years this event grow to be one of the biggest and best winter prime stock shows on the circuit.’

This year the Borderway Agri-Expo will be supporting MacMillan Nurses. Throughout the day raffle tickets will be sold to support a charity close to everyone’s hearts as well as profits from the H&H Group Calendar. Last year the fundraising raised in excess of £3600 for charity and Harrison & Hetherington are hoping to be able to raise a sizable contribution once again.

Admission to the event is free and for more information visit

link East of England Smithfield Festival Draws UK-Wide Entries
link Between Beef and Biscuits at Borderway Agri-Expo 2012
link Record Entries for Countryside Live 2012

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Borderway Agri-Expo 2012