Leyburn Lady to Show at NBA Beef Expo

18th May 2022

Yorkshire farmer, Georgina Laws, runs a beef and sheep enterprise alongside parents, Digby and Cynthia, at High Village Farm, Leyburn. Having grown up on the family farm, 26-year-old Georgina also works part time as a drover and clerk at nearby Darlington and Leyburn auction marts.

This year, Georgina will be exhibiting one bullock at NBA Beef Expo being held at Darlington Farmers Auction Mart, on Saturday 28th May. In the region of 120 head of some of the UK’s best commercial cattle will be presented for judging before experienced Welsh duo, Bryn Lloyd and Daffyd Lewis.  Bryn will judge the Native and Continental classes, as well as the Supreme Championship, and Dafydd will judge the Baby Beef classes, Baby Championship and Young Handlers.

Georgina bought in her show animal and said: “I’m particularly looking forward to Beef Expo this year with it being held at Darlington which is where I work,” says Georgina. “The event is a brilliant shop window where farmers can show off their produce. It’s also a great event for showcasing just how good British agriculture is and the strength of the British beef industry.”

Comprising 200 acres of grassland, the Laws family run a herd of 25 British blue cross suckler cows, as well as around 400 sheep. Calving typically takes place during April with all calves being kept until the following autumn to sell as stores or fat cattle.

Cows are currently being put to Limousin bull, Swarland Oslo, due to the herd reaching around 75 per cent Blue and the family wishing to retain the hybrid vigour from the crossbred animals.

Traditionally, Digby would sell everything as stores at around 18 months through Leyburn mart, however Georgina likes to keep hold of a few to sell as fat cattle through Darlington Farmers Auction Mart. “I like to try and keep a few beasts to take through to fat. For the sake of keeping them for a couple of extra months, it opens up more opportunities in the market,” says Georgina. “It’s just about following the wave and doing what you think is right at the time.”

Calves have two summers at grass before being brought inside for six to eight weeks where they are fed a ration of finishing nuts and barley purchased through W.E. Jamesons. Depending on the market, they are reared to store stage or taken through to finishing.

Georgina became interested in showing cattle after seeing shows and sales held at the markets. “Mum and Dad were never really interested in showing cattle, so I had to find my own way into it,” explains Georgina. “I always liked cattle and seeing cattle being shown, and I was interested in how people bred the best for those shows. So, I went and bought myself a show beast and began showing in 2015.”

Mainly taking part in local shows, including the Great Yorkshire Show, Georgina’s highlights to date include winning the Young Handlers at Borderway Agri Expo back in 2016, and more recently, winning Darlington Farmers Auction Mart Fatstock Show in 2021. However, Georgina has her sights on showing at a national level in the future, primarily the English Winter Fair. So far, her show animals have been bought in, but Georgina aims to breed her own calf for 2023 and explains: “If I buy in a show heifer, I always keep her to breed from. I hoped to have cracked it this year, but unfortunately lost the calf, so I’ll try again next year.”

The annual flagship NBA Beef Expo event, hosted by the National Beef Association (NBA), provides a great opportunity for farmers to access expert knowledge and advice.  With a series of farm tours, representation from the UK’s main cattle breed societies, an important commercial cattle show and programme of seminars with globally renowned speakers, this is the major annual event in the beef industry’s calendar.