Paice set for Carlisle

SOME of the Borders’ top pedigree men are heading to the Borderway Agri-Expo in Carlisle tomorrow.

Agriculture minister Jim Paice MP will present the prizes at the event which is expected to attract more than 10,000 visitors.

Organisers Harrison & Hetherington’s operations director David Pritchard said: “The show is very much a benchmark event as it leads into the winter season competing with other national livestock winter shows.

“We are absolutely delighted that Jim Paice is coming. He is a farmer in his own right, with a herd of Highlanders in his Cambridgeshire constituency, and has always been active in agricultural organisations in Britain and Europe.”

There are more than 650 livestock entries, 150 trade stands and 18 breed societies expected at the event which opens at 8am.

New this year are the Simmental Regional Calf Show, which has attracted an entry of 40, the Baby Beef class – introduced due to the demand for breeders to view animals with future potential – and the Rough Fell Lamb class.

Other classes will include the Aberdeen Angus National Winter Show, now in its second year at the expo, the National Beef Shorthorn Calf Show, the Hereford Regional Calf Show, the Border British Blue Calf Show and the national National Prime Sheep Show

This year’s judges are all renowned experts in their fields. A past judge at UK Smithfield, Beef Expo and the Irish Christmas Show in Belfast, and a prize-winning commercial breeder himself, Archie MacGregor, of Allanfauld Farm, Kilsyth, near Glasgow, will be casting his eye over the main cattle classes.

Top commercial man John Robertson of Newton of Logierait, Ballinluig, Pitlochry – a past judge of this class at the Scottish Winter Fair – will be deciding the baby beef class winners.

And a past Royal Smithfield judge, Andrew Atkinson of Croft House Farm, in Felliscliffe, Harrogate, Yorkshire, is taking on the main sheep classes, while Mike Allen, who runs a farming enterprise near Cleveland, North Yorkshire, will choose the winners of a special class for the North of England Mule ewe lambs.

Borderway Agri-Expo began five years ago with an entry of 200 livestock.

There will be demonstrations of machinery, bale choppers and shredders and mobile feed processors.

The Young Farmers Agri Expo Stocksman of the Year competition starts at 10am, while the main show judging starts at 8.30am.