Agri-Expo 2011 preview

Showcasing the best of British livestock at Agri-Expo 2011

WITH record livestock entries, more trade stands, exhibitions and demonstrations than ever before and a chance to meet agriculture minister Jim Paice, the fifth Agri-Expo promises to build on last year’s event, which attracted more than 600 livestock entries, 100 trade exhibitors and more than 10,000 visitors.

Hosted by livestock auctioneers Harrison and Hetherington, Agri-Expo 2011 is held at Borderway Exhibition Complex, Carlisle, on Friday, October 28, where more than 700 competitors will battle it out in the livestock rings for the main prize fund of £10,000.

To accommodate new classes and increased livestock entries, judging will start at 8.30am.

Visiting the event, Mr Paice will meet some of the nation’s foremost livestock breeders, exhibitors, young farmers and sponsors and end the day by presenting prizes and the trophy to the champion animal and its owner.

Young farmers competitions include the popular YFC Stockman of the Year contest, highlighting the importance at any major rural showcase of encouraging the next generation and ensuring they are well represented.

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 totractors and veterinary services to vitamins.

Judging the main cattle classes, Archie MacGregor of Allanfauld Farm, Kilsyth, near Glasgow is no stranger to the show ring. having judged at many of the UK’s leading livestock events, including UK Smithfield, Beef Expo and the Irish Christmas Show, Belfast.

Mr MacGregor’s family, who have been breeding prize-winners since 1926, visited Agri-Expo for the first time last year. Impressed by what he saw, he was delighted to be invited to judge this year.

Beef and sheep

Baby beef judge John Robertson, who farms at Newton of Logierait, Ballinluig, Pitlochry, is a successful breeder of top quality commercial cattle. He also judged this class at the Scottish Winter Fair.

The main sheep class judge will be Andrew Atkinson from Croft House Farm, Harrogate. A regular buyer at Kirkby Stephen auction mart, Mr Atkinson finishes around 10,000 hoggs and 500 to 1,200 cattle each year.

He is an experienced judge, having taken on a similar role at the Royal Smithfield and several livestock events in Yorkshire.

He will be joined in judging the sheep classes by Mike Allan, who runs a farming enterprise near Cleveland, North Yorkshire. Mr Allan will choose the winners of the popular North of England Mule ewe lambs class.

Agri-Expo will again be supporting charities and a raffle will be held in aid of Hospice at Home and the British Heart Foundation.

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