Thousands of visitors were treated to the cream of North East farming at a major UK showcase, held in Northumberland.
The UK’s biggest festival of British beef returned to Hexham Mart after a four-year break, in an event which brought together the country’s best pedigree and commercial animals, farm tours, demonstrations and commercial trade stands.
The National Beef Association (NBA) Beef Expo 2014 eclipsed previous years’ events thanks to the sheer number of animals on display and record numbers of exhibitors and entries.
This year’s entry list boasted 55 exhibitors and 150 show entries, up from 116 entries in Malvern last year and 113 when the event was last staged at the NBA’s headquarters in 2010.
Exhibitors from across England, including Devon, Dorset and Somerset, Ireland, Scotland and Wales travelled to Northumberland to compete in 16 classes.
Local schoolchildren from Henshaw, Greenhead, Herdley Bank and Haydon Bridge Shaftoe Primary were also invited to learn about the important journey their food makes from farmyard to fork.
Samantha Murray, who coordinated the schools’ visit to Beef Expo, said: “I’ve got two children of my own and they’re lucky enough to have been brought up on a farm and to know where their food comes from.
“Following last year’s horse meat scandal, it’s more important than ever before that young people know exactly what they’re eating. The children have seen a live cow, identified the different meat cuts and watched some of the butchering process.
“We want to encourage the children to think of the farmers rather than the fast-food, commercial side of things.”
Beef Expo chairman Robert Addison said: “Today couldn’t have gone any better. There was so much to do, see and learn. This year’s Beef Expo has been our biggest and best year yet.”