Beef and Growing Cattle South West 2008

One of Britain's premier cattle events will return to Devon this year on a wave of renewed optimism in the British beef sector.

Beef and Growing Cattle South West 2008 will be held at the Hatherleigh Livestock Centre on Thursday, 18 September and showcase the breadth and depth of quality breeding and production in the region, which produces 20% of the national cattle herd.

The one-day event is organised by the National Beef Association South West and will feature a variety of competitions, including the Primestock Show, Supreme Cow and Calf, Hoof & Hook, Rib of Beef and Young Butcher of the Year. Over 3,000 beef producers, butchers and beef buyers are expected to attend.

Over 200 beef cattle will be on display at the show, offering farmers the chance to compare the many breeds, cross-bred and dairy beef stock for the store or finished market. This year's event is supported by all the major breed societies, some of whom will feature pedigree and crossbred cattle on their stands.

Bill Harper, chair of the organising committee said: "The event will focus on using the natural resources of the South West. Our long grass-growing season and the use of farmyard manure to promote grass growth, can help our beef production systems to be more sustainable in the face of dramatically increasing production costs.

"Focusing on the quality of beef production in the region, we will be staging a record number of competitions and displays to help farmers and beef buyers decide on the best systems and cattle types to take their enterprises forward."

In addition to the competitions, the latest issues affecting the global beef market will be debated in the Mole Valley Farmers Theatre, with a series of talks on export and home market opportunities, supply chain partnerships, nutrition and animal health.

A farmers' market will give visitors the chance to go home with a selection of food and drink from West Country producers and a machinery demonstration arena will showcase the latest technology and equipment available to the beef industry.

The event is sponsored by Mole Valley Farmers, Southern Counties Fresh Foods, Dectomax, Shearwell Data, CJ Saunders (Massey Ferguson) and South West Handling (Merlo). For further information or to exhibit at the event, contact Rosemary Risdon, event co-ordinator, National Beef Association South West on 01409 271238 or email nbasw@tiscali.co.uk.