The farm tours which will accompany the main Beef Expo event and will be hosted by the Kelly family and the Dixon family at Netherhall Farm near Kirby Lonsdale, and Kit Crag Farm, in Selside, Kendal, respectively.

Netherhall Farm

David and Maggie Kelly have been farming at Netherhall for 21 years where they run a pedigree herd of Hereford cattle, as well as a smaller herd of pedigree Limousins.

They started a separate commercial calf rearing unit in November, 2018 and altogether, they farm 900 acres, which provides a mostly grass-based diet for their cattle.

The farm’s main focus is breeding pedigree Hereford bulls and females, having recently sold their third bull to Cogent, importing embryos from America and Australia to this end. Now in their sixth year of keeping Herefords, the Kellys have about 200 breeding females with the aim of getting to 300 by next year.

During the tour of Netherhall Farm, speakers will include David Deakin, of the Hereford Cattle Society, looking at the part the breed plays in commercial beef production. He will be joined by Gavin Hill, senior beef specialist at SRUC.

Also, Boomer Birch, programme manager at Cogent, will discuss Hereford genetics and Dr Cliff Lister, Crystalyx's technical director, will speak on beef nutrition, forage intake and finishing beef cattle.

Kit Crag Farm

The sixth generation of the Dixon family now farms 1100-acres at Kit Crag.

There, the land varies from 450 to 1400 feet above sea level and 250 acres of the unit is classed as 'fell'.

Their stock consists of 220 Stabiliser suckler cows, 1200 Swaledale ewes, a small flock of 300 Mules and 20 registered Bluefaced Leicester ewes. There is also a 12,000-bird free range layer poultry unit.

The Dixons' suckler herd comprises a combination of pedigree and commercial stabiliser cattle, running with pedigree Stabiliser bulls, with the main focus to produce high index cattle as cost effectively as possible.

The cows are fed on a silage and grass only diet and bull calves are finished as bull beef at under 16 months old, with a few of the best sold for breeding. Heifers are calved at two off a grass and silage diet, with some sold for breeding.

This visit will include talks from Boehringer vet, Kath Aplin, and Westmorland Veterinary Group’s Andrew Crutchley, with BVD control a key topic.

Seth Wareing, from the Stabiliser Cattle Company, will provide insight into an efficient suckler cow production system, while Michael Woodrow, of AB Vista, will talk on feed efficiency in beef cattle.

Steph Baul and Andrew Harrison, of I’Anson Brothers – a family run feed business based in Masham – will speak on micronised cereals in beef nutrition.

* Coaches will depart from Westmorland County Showground near Kendal, at 9am on May 22 – the day prior to Beef Expo – taking visitors to both farms. A hot beef lunch will also be included.