Organisers say the 2018 NI Beef Expo is set to be the biggest yet as the technical beef event - hailed as Northern Ireland's largest - is set to return to Dungannon Farmers’ Market in just six weeks.

The NI Beef Expo will kick off on Friday February 23 with a programme of farm tours and the NI Beef Industry Dinner Dance at Corick House. The weekend is set to finish with the NI Beef Expo show day on Monday February 26.

Celebrating the very best of the Northern Irish beef industry, the show day will include: outdoor and indoor trade stands displaying the latest technologies; breed society displays; demonstrations; and a range of topical seminars.

For the first time, the weekend will also host the highly renowned 'Stars of the Future Calf Show and Sale', run by the NI Commercial Cattle Exhibitors Club.

Farm visits

The farm tours, which are run in association with event sponsor Dunbia, will visit three units including Johnathan Price’s beef-finishing unit at Glenavy; Gary Fitzpatick and John Toland’s highly efficient calf-rearing unit in Armagh; and AFBI's acclaimed Loughall research farm and suckler herd.

The day will include interactive workshops, transport to and from either Dungannon mart or Hillsborough research centre and a lunch courtesy of event sponsor Dunbia. Farm tour tickets are priced at £24 for members and £30 for non-members.

George Williamson from Dunbia said he hoped the firm could facilitate a better understanding of the key challenges facing the sector.

[caption id="attachment_228055" align="aligncenter" width="728"]NI Beef Expo Beef finisher Johnathan Price[/caption]

He said: "We are delighted to be working in association with the NBA team to deliver farm knowledge transfer sessions, showcasing some of our most impressive and efficient beef farms as part of the industry farm tours.

This will look at a range of systems including calf rearing, beef finishing and a visit to a research farm - we are excited to illustrate how these different businesses operate technically and financially. We believe these sector leaders demonstrate viable and sustainable beef production systems for the future.

Chris Mallon, chief executive of the NBA, said: “With the current political climate, it is more crucial than ever that farmers are sharing knowledge to ensure that our businesses are efficient and sustainable. We hope this event will provide a platform to do this.

"The NBA would like to thank our major sponsor Dunbia and sponsors Countryside Services, Norbrook, Dungannon Farmers, Co-op and Simmental Cattle Society."

Entry to NI Beef Expo is free for all NBA members and £10 for non-members.

Tickets for all events can be purchased online. The NBA is a member-led charitable organisation with a single focus on protecting the interests of the UK beef industry.