Exhibitors from around the UK have pushed livestock entries to record numbers for this year’s Borderway UK Dairy Expo, the leading spring showcase and celebration of the dairy sector.
Now in its third year, the event, organised by livestock auctioneers Harrison and Hetherington, is being held in Carlisle on Saturday, March 8. It brings together top-quality show stock and dairy genetics, and more than 130 trade stands demonstrating the latest developments in the industry.
The thousands of visitors expected from across the industry will also have the opportunity to attend a special forum on increasing herd size to maximise profits, and watch the sector’s next generation competing in the Dairy Youth Championships.
David Pritchard, operations director at Harrison and Hetherington and organiser of Borderway UK Dairy Expo 2014, said: “The UK dairy industry is big business. The UK’s 12,500 dairy farmers have 1.56 million cows producing nearly 12 billion litres of milk a year.
“Borderway UK Dairy Expo is now one of the industry’s leading events and our base in Carlisle is a great location in easy reach of the main dairy areas. As one of the first major spring shows, we’re looking forward to kicking off a great season for exhibitors, and we have attracted more high-quality entrants than ever before and internationally-renowned judges to appraise them.”
Already there are 335 livestock entries; the 59 show classes take place over a day and a half, with the Dairy Youth Championships, promoting the industry to the next generation, and the heifer show dominating proceedings on Friday evening. On Saturday, milking classes and supreme championships will be staged, showcasing the very best in British dairy genetics.
Willie Whiteford, of Middle Farm, Brampton, Cumbria, is a first-time exhibitor who will be showing in-milk Ayrshires and in milk Red and Whites.
Willie, who is also vice-president of the Ayrshire Cattle Society said: “This event is on my doorstep and in the short time since Borderway UK Dairy Expo has been going, it has become a very worthwhile event, timed when there is a window in the dairy farming calendar.
“Not only is this a very successful event for Harrison and Hetherington, it is also an important event for the dairy industry who appreciate that this is an all-breeds event and, as such, gives an opportunity for different breeds of dairy cattle to be represented and promoted.”
Borderway UK Dairy Expo is also a recognised forum to share new technology and innovations with farmers and other stakeholders in the sector. Fullwood Ltd is returning to the show for a second year to showcase its robotic milking system.
Nikita Whitfield from Fullwood said: “Fullwood designs, manufactures and distributes milking and cooling equipment worldwide. Visit our stand to see our full range of solutions for dairy farmers including Merlin, our robotic milking system.”
Michael Carruthers, from Lanarkshire-based Davidson Bros Feed Company, is also looking forward to meeting people attending the event from across the UK.
He said: “Borderway UK Dairy Expo is a relatively new show attracting a national audience to the North West
“It gives farmers in this very important milk-producing region the chance to see a wide range of trade exhibits and a high-quality show of cattle. Davidson’s Animal Feeds recognise the value that dairy farmers add to the industry in this area and we are proud to be a part of this annual event.”
In addition to the huge variety of trade stands, Borderway UK Dairy Expo’s remit as a knowledge-sharing centre is stepping up a gear with its first industry forum. The Beyond 400 forum, sponsored by Elanco, will feature dairy sector leaders, vets and farmers discussing the pros and cons of expanding a dairy herd to more than 400 cows, to increase efficiency and profitability.
David Pritchard said: “We’re really looking forward to seeing the cream of the UK’s dairy cattle on show, as well as giving visitors the opportunity to see the industry’s latest developments at first hand.”