Opening the Gates of Progressive Beef Farming Enterprises

25th February 2022

The National Beef Association has announced details of its May 2022 farm tours, which will be an integral element of its annual Beef Expo event.


The National Beef Association (NBA) have today confirmed that the farm tours, part of their annual event NBA Beef Expo, will feature a large beef finishing unit, and one of the foremost Limousin breeders in the north of England.


Opening their farm gates for the tours are the Richardson family from Bracken House, Melsonby, near Richmond in North Yorkshire, who finish between six and seven hundred bulls and steers per year and noted Limousin breeders, the Suddes family from South Farm, Cornsay, near Lanchester in County Durham.


With the very best of the UK’s Beef cattle on show, the latest industry information, and attracting thousands of visitors, NBA Beef Expo is a key date in the beef industry’s calendar.  Following last year’s cancellation due to Covid-19, this year it is being held on Saturday 28th May at Darlington Farmers Auction Mart, with the farm tours taking place the day before on Friday 27th May.  Tickets must be purchased in advance and are available at a cost of £34 for NBA members and £40 for non-members.


Traditionally taking place on the eve of the NBA Beef Expo event itself, these tours add an interesting and informative element to the exhibition and offer farmers the chance to see first-hand how other beef producers are planning for the future and adapting to a changing industry.

Commenting NBA Chief Executive, Neil Shand said: “The farm tours are always one of the highlights, and a fundamental part of our two-day Beef Expo event programme, as they give farmers the opportunity to get on farm and see how others are operating and planning for the future.  Both Cornsay and Bracken House farms have fantastic beef enterprises and I believe that those attending will be able to take a lot of ideas and inspiration home to their own farms.”


“I am fully aware of the considerable amount of time and effort that goes into the planning and preparation for such tours, so I’d like to thank both the Richardson and Suddes families for opening up their farms to host this event and for their support to the NBA.”


Rob and Janis Suddes farm alongside their sons Richard and Karl, at South Farm, Cornsay, which has been the family farm for over 100 years. Sitting at 900ft, the 800-acre unit carries 120 pedigree Limousin cows, the Cornsay herd, and 500 acres of arable land, with the remainder being pasture. The family also work an additional 500 acres external to the farm on a shared farming basis, with all crops being established using conservation agriculture techniques, and they have 32,000 free range laying hens.


The Suddes family regularly sell pedigree bulls and heifers from home as well as through Carlisle and other local auction marts, including Darlington and Hexham. Those not suitable for breeding are finished on home-grown rations at South Farm and sold live at 12-16 months old through Darlington market.


Bracken House Farm, Melsonby, covers 780 acres and has been farmed by the Richardson family since 1916. The farm finishes between six and seven hundred bulls and steers per year, all sourced from live markets. Finished bulls are sold live at Darlington market, whereas steers are sold deadweight through Woodheads or ABP.


The farm is home to two Roundhouses which house a total of 390 head with integrated handling systems. Braken House was, in fact, the second farm in the UK to build one back in 2004, with the second added in 2019. In addition, the family also own and operate Lowgrange Quarry Ltd.


NBA Beef Expo is an annual exhibition showcasing the very best of the British beef industry. Some of the UK’s finest beef cattle will be presented for judging in the National Commercial Cattle Show, with over £6000 of prize money up for grabs this year. Alongside the ten cattle classes are demonstrations, seminars, and a trade exhibition bringing the latest industry trends, research, and technology.


Tickets for the farm tours must be purchased in advance and are available at a cost of £34 for NBA members and £40 for non-members.


For more information on NBA Beef Expo or to purchase tickets for the farm tours visit