Beef Expo farm tours offer an insight into NBA member farms and technical advice from guest speakers

29th April 2019

The farm tour hosts have been announced as part of the Beef Expo programme, followed by the Annual Beef Industry Dinner.

Netherhall Farm

David and Maggie Kelly have been farming at Netherhall for 21 years. They run a pedigree herd of Hereford cattle, as well as a smaller herd of pedigree Limousins, and they started a separate commercial calf rearing unit in November 2018. 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.

The farm tours, which take place on National Beef Association Members’ farms, will accompany the main Beef Expo event and include expert speakers from across the sector. Hosted by the Kelly Family and the Dixon family at Netherhall Farm near Kirby Lonsdale, and Kit Craig Farm in Selside, Kendal respectively, they will give guests the opportunity to view two exceptional beef farms.

Kit Crag Farm

The sixth generation of the Dixon family now farms 1100 acre Kit Crag Farm. Land varying from 450` above sea level to 1400`, 250 acres of which is classed as fell.  

Stock consists of 220 Stabiliser suckler cows, 1200 Swaledale ewes, a small flock of 300 Mule ewes and 20 Registered Blue Faced Leicester ewes. There is also a 12,000 bird free range layer poultry unit. The suckler herd comprises a combination of pedigree and commercial stabiliser cattle, running with pedigree Stabiliser bulls.

The main focus of the farm is 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 2 years old off a grass and silage diet, with some sold for breeding.

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. Boomer Birch, Program Manager at Cogent, will discuss Hereford genetics. Dr Cliff Lister, Crystalyx Technical Director, will speak on beef nutrition, forage intake and finishing beef cattle.

The Kit Crag Farm 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 Stabiliser Cattle Company will provide insight into an efficient suckler cow production system, while Michael Woodrow of AB Vista discusses feed efficiency in beef cattle. Steph Baul, Sales Representative & Andrew Harrison, Nutritionist, both of I’Anson Brothers, a family run business based in Masham, will speak on micronized cereals in beef nutrition.


Netherhall Farm The Kelly Family

Kit Crag Farm - The Dixon Family

Ryan Law, Dunbia

An integrated supply chain

Seth Wareing, Stabiliser Cattle Company

An efficient suckler cow production system 

Boomer Birch, Cogent

Hereford breeding and genetics

Steph Baul, and Andrew Harrison, IAnson Brothers

The role of micronized cereals in beef nutrition 

David Deakin, Hereford Cattle Society

The Hereford breed from the society’s perspective and the part it plays in commercial beef production

Kath Aplin, Vet, Boehringer

The UK view on BVD and its control, and the latest initiative to stamp out BVD in England.

Gavin Hill, Senior Beef Specialist, SRUC

Fertility, genetics, health and nutrition

Michael Woodrow, Technical Sales Manager, AB Vista

Improving feed efficiency in finishing cattle 

Dr Cliff Lister, Crystalyx

Beef Nutrition and forage intake

Andrew Crutchley, Westmorland Veterinary Group

BVD Control: the importance from a health and financial perspective. 

Coaches will depart from Westmorland County Showground near Kendal at 9am on 22nd May, taking visitors to both farms. A hot beef lunch will also be included.

The farm tours are followed by the prestigious annual Beef Industry Dinner, which this year takes place at Castle Green Hotel, Kendal. The evening includes a drinks reception, 3 course dinner, beef kindly sponsored by ABP, and after dinner speaker. 

Commenting on the programme of events, NBA Chief Executive Chris Mallon said, “Alongside the main Beef Expo event, visitors will have the opportunity to experience NBA members’ farms first-hand. There’s huge benefit to be gained from knowledge sharing between beef producers and engaging with industry experts.

“The Annual Beef Industry Dinner is a fantastic event, where the sector comes together to celebrate everything great about British Beef,” he continued.

The farm tours and beef industry dinner take place on Wednesday 22nd May, and NBA Beef Expo 2019 takes place the following day, Thursday 23rd May, at North West Auctions’ J36 Rural Auction Centre in Crooklands, Cumbria.