Thousands expected at Fans beef event

The host farmer, Douglas Stewart with his father, Graham, and son, Archie.
The host farmer, Douglas Stewart with his father, Graham, and son, Archie.

Beef farmers from across Scotland and the north of England will be heading to the Borders on Thursday, June 8, for Scotland’s Beef Event 2017.

This biennial event is being hosted by farmers, Douglas and Kelda Stewart, on their mixed beef and arable farm of Fans, Earlston.

Organised by the Scottish Beef Association with Clydesdale Bank as main sponsor, the day’s proceedings will focus on the efficient production of beef on a mixed farm. The event will be opened at 10.30am by the Cabinet Secretary for Rural Economy and Connectivity, Fergus Ewing.

Fans specialises in the finishing of high quality beef cattle from a 400-cow commercial herd of Aberdeen-Angus which is an integral part of an extensive 2,430 acre mixed farming business, including a large area of cereals and 350 acres devoted to a specialist seed potato enterprise.

“The beef enterprise is integral to our mixed farming enterprise and is profitable in its own right as well as utilising grass, home-grown barley and straw and providing farmyard manure for our arable operation,” said Mr Stewart.

A local organising committee, under the chairmanship of Sion Williams, farm manager at Bowhill Estate, Selkirk, with representatives from the farming, trade and research/advisory sectors, has been working on the arrangements for the event for the past year.

“Fans is an excellent venue for Scotland’s national beef event,” said Mr Williams.

“It is a fantastic set-up to see in operation and a shining example of a commercially run beef cattle enterprise from start to finish.

“It will provide an opportunity to see how an efficient suckler cow enterprise adds value to an arable/potato enterprise as part of a mixed farming unit.”

Features of the event will include a farm tour by tractor and trailer, a comprehensive practical demonstration area with a focus on grassland management and fertility, installation of a reed-bed, stockjudging, seminars and more than 100 trade stands and breed society exhibits.

Members of the Scottish Beef Association and the National Beef Association (including members joining on the day) will have the opportunity of winning a top-class pedigree Aberdeen-Angus heifer from the famous Wedderlie herd in a free draw.

The event will be open from 9am to 5.30pm and routes to the farm will be signposted by the AA. Admission is £10 with under 16s free.

In addition to Clydesdale Bank as main sponsor, the gold sponsors are the Aberdeen-Angus Cattle Society, Ancroft Tractors Ltd, Harrison and Hetherington, Scotbeef Ltd and Harbro Ltd with Almins Ltd, JFC Manufacturing (Europe) Ltd, CKD Galbraith and United Auctions as silver sponsors.

Strong support has also been given by Scottish Borders Council and Quality Meat Scotland.