Wednesday, 27 May 2015

Why industry events are so useful for the farming community

A core part of EBLEX’s work is sharing knowledge and information with levy payers and the wider farming community, and industry events provide an ideal platform for doing this.

Last week, Beef Expo 2015 took place at York Auction Centre and the EBLEX team was there to share the latest information with visitors. The centrepiece of the stand was Rufe, a South Devonshire cow that was painted in bright colours to illustrate where various cuts of meats come from.

As well as being a huge talking point, Rufe played an important part in helping people understand better how meat is processed. This was particularly useful for the youngsters in attendance, in particular one group of children who were on an educational tour of the show. 

After meeting Rufe they enjoyed a butchery demonstration from EBLEX’s master butcher, Martin Eccles, who demonstrated new cuts that are being promoted and explained why it is important to maximise carcase utilisation.

The stand was busy all day with farmers soaking up the information on offer. This included soil samples and grassland management expertise from the British Grassland Society, carcase classification examples on our cool wall, a vet demonstrating liver fluke (complete with a large infected cattle liver!), genetics information and more. EBLEX staff were also on hand to field general questions.

Our stand was also the starting point for the Future Farmer competition, an opportunity for youngsters to pit their farming wits against peers in categories such as genetics, feed, bio security and conformation. A total of 12 teams entered the competition, with Askham Bryan and Bishop Burton colleges well represented.

The competition was run in association with the Charolais Cattle Society, XL Vets and Thompsons of York and aimed to encourage the next generation of progressive beef farmers.

The EBLEX stand at Beef Expo 2015 also saw what must surely be a record number of ‘selfie’ photos being taken, thanks to a famous face that stopped by. Adam Henson of BBC’s Countryfile was, like many other visitors, intrigued by Rufe and once he had posed for photographs with fans, made sure he had his photo taken with the colourful cow. 


He also talked at length with EBLEX representatives about the work being done for the industry, and spoke to EBLEX TV about the levy board’s presence at the show.

The feedback from Beef Expo has been favourable, and we’ll take that forward into other planned shows.

Next up is the National Sheep Association’s North Sheep and Sheep South West events in Cumbria and North Tawton respectively, where once again we will offer a range of demonstrations and resources. We hope to see you there!

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