National Beef Association
For everyone with an interest in the British beef industry

Future Beef Farmer Challenge for Forward Thinking Producers

26th April 2016

Region: National

James Bonner, Future Beef Farmer Challenge Winner 2015 with Adam Henson
James Bonner, Future Beef Farmer Challenge Winner 2015 with Adam Henson

NBA Beef Expo sees the return of the popular Future Beef Farmer Challenge

“Agriculture is becoming an increasingly hi-tech industry with the use of ‘precision farming.’  It is important for beef producers in the UK to remain ahead of the competition in order for their beef industry to remain competitive across not only Europe, but the world.” This is the message from  Harper Adams University (HAU)  Beef Cattle Specialist and NBA Board member Simon Marsh.

In order to keep ahead of trends and to highlight to the next generation of British beef producers, where the future of the industry lies, NBA Beef Expo will once again be hosting the ‘Future Beef Farmer Challenge’,

The Challenge will take place at the British beef industry’s showcase event, NBA Beef Expo, at Bakewell Auction Mart on Friday May 20th.

Agriculture is proving to be the fastest growing subject in the UK.  Harper Adams University (HAU) in Shropshire has over 3,000 students engaged in higher education on either Agriculture or Countryside related courses. 

Fully supportive of the NBA activities, HAU provide a teaching environment as well as facilities which enable beef farmers of the future to learn the science of beef production.  In doing so, this allows them to find solutions to current problems and drive their beef business forward.  HAU has a 130 head dairy bull beef unit, as well as, six suckler beef focus farms for students to visit and learn first-hand how to make a profit.  These farms, spread across the UK, are all achieving top 1% performance and so are excellent examples of efficient and profitable beef production.

Beef Cattle Specialist for HAU and NBA, Simon Marsh said: “With the growing popularity of agricultural and countryside based courses, events such as the Future Beef Farmer Challenge play an essential part in highlighting the skills of the next generation of UK beef producers, as well as encouraging young people into the industry.  I would urge young beef producers, or those with a keen interest in the industry to get involved in the competition.

“It is important for the UK beef industry to stay ahead of the game and produce beef efficiently and sustainably.  Our welfare standards are some of the highest in the world, but the bar must be set even higher showing continuous development.  We must also improve technical efficiency by adopting the science of beef production to remain in production.”

As part of NBA’s annual Beef Expo event, the Future Beef Farmer Challenge was launched in 2015, and was the first of its kind in the UK.  For the second year running, this unique contest is being held to test the skills, knowledge and abilities of teams and individual young beef farmers at this year’s National Beef Association (NBA) Beef Expo.

Entrants can take part either as a team or as an individual. Teams must pre-register their entry and The Team Challenge is open to teams of two to four members, aged from 16 to 26. The Individual Challenge is for individuals aged between 16 and 36.  Applications must be made in advance by either completing the form on the NBA website or by contacting the AHDB Beef and Lamb Northern Office on 01904 771214.  All will face four challenges at four sponsored stands, where they will be asked to demonstrate their knowledge of breeding and genetics, cattle health, nutrition and cattle selection for slaughter.

Teams interested in entering must pre-register by May  10th by either completing the form on the NBA Web Site or by contacting the AHDB Beef and Lamb Northern Office on 01904 771214.