4:27pm Friday 18th October 2013
By Mike Bridgen
THIS year’s Borderway Agri-Expo promises to be the biggest yet, with more than 800 pedigree and commercial livestock entries and a crowd of more than 10,000 expected.
Harrison & Hetherington will stage the seventh event at their Borderway Exhibition Centre, in Carlisle, on Friday, November 1. Admission and parking is free.
Supported by many cattle and sheep breed societies, it will feature around 150 trade stands and something for everyone, including advances in new technology and Young Farmers’ classes.
David Pritchard, H&H operations director and event co-ordinator, said: “Advances and small changes are happening all the time in the industry.
Borderway Agri-Expo provides farmers with the opportunity to see some of the finest livestock in the UK and talk face-to-face with experts in their field.
“A huge number of farmers and professionals attend and it has become an important forum to discuss developments, whether they are in breeding genetics or new equipment.
Our aim is to provide the information people need to plan the future of their farming enterprises.”
With a total prize fund of £12,000, the sheep and cattle classes are at the heart of the event.
Four experienced judges will oversee the proceedings: Charlie Anderson, who buys store and finishing cattle and farms in Dumfriesshire, will judge the main cattle classes; Hugh Dunlop from Ayrshire, the baby beef classes; Andrew Finch, livestock manager of Dunbia (Preston) Ltd, the main sheep classes, and Cumbrian farmer and noted stockman from Bewcastle, Harry Gass, will oversee the special Mule ewe lamb class.
There are 26 classes in the National Suckled Calf and Primestock Show and 19 Continental and traditional breed classes in the National Prime Sheep Show.
New classes include best Charolaissired heifer or steer and best pair of Cheviot Hill Lambs.
The overall cattle champion receives £500 and a trophy and will come from the 26 classes which include baby beef, Continental and native bred.
The special breed society show classes in the cattle section include the Aberdeen Angus Winter National Show, incorporating the Walkers Shortbread Aberdeen Angus Show Herd of the Year Competition 2013; the Border British Blue Calf Show; the Beef Shorthorn National Calf Show; the Hereford Regional Calf Show and the Simmental Regional Calf Show.
The British Wool Marketing Board (BWMB) is attending for the first time and has become a sponsor.
Gareth Jones, BWMB communications manager, said: “We recognise what an important event this is in the farming calendar and look forward to updating our producers on prices and the BWMB’s activities.
“The Carlisle area has a strong tradition and heritage in sheep farming and we congratulate the event organisers on the development and growth of this event in recent years.”
The feed and machinery manufacturers attending include the new Gecko mobile cattle handling system which was launched earlier this year.
Mr Pritchard said: “We’re delighted new companies have chosen us to demonstrate their products and are especially pleased to welcome new trade stands for the first time.”
Borderway Agri-Expo has been committed to supporting the younger generation from the outset – and this year is no exception.
The Young Farmers’ classes have always been a highlight of the expo.
This year’s Young Farmers Club competitions will include a class for the best pair of lambs (any breed and weight). The winning pair will earn a place in the appropriate breed championship, and the Young Farmer Stockman of The Year title.
This year’s sponsors include Carrs Billington, Morrisons, Norbrook Laboratories, Lloyds TSB and Cogent Breeding.
James Thornton, from Lloyds TSB, said: “These events are important to the ongoing development and improvement of the agricultural industry.
Events like these are unique opportunities for rural business to access a wealth of information, advice and technical updates.”
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