Beef Expo, the National Beef Association’s annual event returns next week with a cracking display of cattle, trade stands and seminar speakers, at Darlington Farmers Auction Mart.

The flagship event, to be staged on Saturday May, 28, returns with a new weekend format to increase accessibility and at a time when the sector is facing huge challenges.

One of the highlights is always the National Commercial Cattle Show, and this year, in the region of 120 head of some of the UK’s best beef animals will be presented for judging before experienced Welsh duo, Bryn Lloyd and Daffyd Lewis. Bryn will judge the native and continental classes, as well as the supreme championship, and Dafydd will put the baby beef calves through their pace, select the champions and place the young handlers.

With an overall prize fund of £6000, the show will consist of 10 classes to include a new class for steers by any other continental or cross-bred sire. In addition, the South Devon Cattle Society will host its performance championship for a fourth year.

NBA chief executive, Neil Shand, said: “It’s fantastic to be opening the doors on NBA Beef Expo once again, especially with such an incredible programme. Cattle entries are tremendous, and we have two extremely experienced and knowledgeable judges casting an eye over them in the show ring.”

“As well as the cattle show, Beef Expo is a platform for knowledge sharing and networking through the exhibition of trade stands and demonstrations and the phenomenal line-up of seminar speakers. These really are world leaders in their fields and the knowledge and information they will bring will be invaluable.”

This year’s programme focusses on industry sustainability and animal health and welfare, with sector specialists including; Professor Alice Stanton RCSI, who has done invaluable work on the importance of red meat to human health; Cambridge MP Daniel Zeichner, who currently serves on the opposition frontbench as Shadow Minister for Food, Farming, Fisheries and Rural Affairs; Christine Middlemiss, the UK’s Chief Veterinary Officer; and Will Jackson, AHDB’s strategy director for beef and lamb.

Seminar timetable:

10:00 – 11:00 Future agriculture support

11:30 – 13:00 Sustainable beef sourcing, production and the benefits for human health

13:30 – 14:30 Animal health and welfare

15:00 – 16:00 MEAT the team

Also included in the line-up are independent livestock sustainability consultant, Dr Jude Capper, Sarah Tomlinson, MRCVS, technical director for the TB advisory service and member of the bTB partnership, Sophie Throup, head of agriculture, fisheries and sustainable sourcing for Wm Morrison PLC, and Boehringer Ingelheim’s ruminant veterinary adviser, Kath Aplin.

Read more: Progressive beef farmers open their gates

Alongside the cattle cattle, Beef Expo will also welcome a line-up of breed society stands and trade exhibitors bringing the latest research developments, technology and innovation. This gives beef farmers the chance to view demonstrations and discuss potential options and ideas to improve productivity and efficiency at home.

As in previous years, farm tours will again take place, this year on Friday May, 27, prior to Beef Expo and will feature a large beef finishing unit and one of the foremost Limousin breeders in the north of England.

Opening their farm gates are the Richardson family from Braken House, Melsonby, North Yorkshire, and the Suddes family from South Farm, Cornsay, County Durham.

Mr Shand added: “This is the annual event for the beef industry and we are all absolutely delighted that we have been able to bring together a world class line up. It is going to be a true celebration of the beef farming sector. The support which we have received from everyone at Darlington Farmers Auction Mart, our many sponsors, the committee and our volunteers has been tremendous – without them this event really would not be possible.”


9.00am Gates open to the Public

9.00am - 16.00pm National commercial cattle show

10:00 – 11:00 Seminar – Future agriculture support

11:30 – 13:00 Seminar – Sustainable beef Sourcing, production and the benefits for human health

13:30 – 14:30 Seminar – Animal health and welfare

15:00 – 16:00 Seminar – MEAT the team

17:00 Event closes

Tickets for Beef Expo and the Farm Tours can be purchased online in advance at