'Breeding, feeding, succeeding' is the theme of this year's Scotland's Beef Event being held at the Milne family's North Bethelnie unit, near Oldmeldrum.

David Barron, vice-chairman of the Scottish Beef Association and chairman of the organising committee, promised an informative, educational and enjoyable day at what is a well-run, purely commercial farming operation.

"North Bethelnie is highly regarded as a well-run commercial beef farm producing top quality beef cattle and forward stores from the farm always attract fierce competition when forward at the local mart," he said ahead of the event.

"The farm has an extensive range of buildings, as well as enjoying spectacular views of Aberdeenshire towards Bennachie, making it an ideal location. Visitors will be treated to seeing cattle in their natural surroundings on the farm tour, which will, for many, be a highlight of the visit."

However, he also added that technical demonstrations, a stockjudging and more than 120 trade stands will also feature. Plus there will also be a seminar where some of the best brains in the beef industry will give a lead on where the beef industry will be going after Brexit – whenever that will be!

"It is unfortunate that we are still in the dark about the likely impact of Brexit – a decline in the national herd and misguided calls to reduce beef cattle numbers to reduce carbon emissions, to make but a few issues," pointed out Mr Barron.

"On top of this, the eating habits of our population is changing. This, however, should be seen as an opportunity, rather than a challenge. Scotland has long been considered a major player in the production of top quality beef on a global stage and this is a fact which we have to continue to promote."

To that end, the event will focus on ways that farmers can make their beef herds more efficient. "We have many technical demonstrations showcasing innovative practices which our industry will hopefully be receptive to and keep to adopt. Pelvic scoring of heifers, grassland management tools, hydrogen vehicle technology and drone technology, will all be covered," added Mr Barron.

The SBA's chairman, Neil McCorkindale, added: "There are two words to sum up this event – 'simplicity' and 'efficiency'. It is a wonderful example of a good commercial herd, not carrying any passengers and being made to work to its full potential."

On future government policy in Scotland which could help prop up what has been a reducing sector, he pointed out: "While there are so many uncertainties about Brexit, let there be no doubt that the Scottish beef industry will go on. The public will demand that it does and I am certain that the Scottish Government will give us the support we need to continue to produce, rear and finish some of the best and safest stock anywhere in the world."

Rural economy Cabinet Secretary, Fergus Ewing, will open the event (at 10.30 am) and is expected to meet with beef industry lobbyists, breed society officials and farmers during an extended stay at the event.

Technical highlights:

* The Milnes use pelvic measuring to select easy calving heifers and so Graham Fowlie, of Meadow Vets, Oldmeldrum, will talk on how it works; while Gavin Hill, SRUC's beef expert, will host a live discussion with the Milnes on their beef enterprise's management.

* There will be a demo by the Agri-EPI centre on using sensor technology in the beef sector. This includes using a rumen bolus to measure body temperature for the earlier detection of any health issues and Silent Herdsman head collars, as used in the dairy industry, for fertility management.

* The Beef Monitor System – as developed by Ritchie of Forfar in a project supported by Scotbeef and Marks and Spencer – closely monitors the performance of finishing cattle b y automatically weighing them each time they drink. A traffic light system flags up areas of concern and a solar-powered gate set-up means it can now be used while the animals are at grass.

* There will be foot trimming demonstrations by Michael Creighton; drone technology aimed at making livestock systems more efficient featured by Mike Swindells, of Perfect Pasture; and Philip Davies, of Water-Fuel Engineering, will showcase new hydrogen powered machinery.

* Look out, too, for a fencing demo by GP Smart and Son, Alford, and a wood waste feature by AW Jenkinson Forest Products and Keen Recycling.