Hailed as the UK’s foremost autumn livestock event, Agri Expo returns to Borderway in October with a jam-packed programme.

Borderway Agri Expo is expected to attract a capacity crowd once again to celebrate the very best of the UK beef and sheep industries at Carlisle on Friday, October 27.

Organised by Harrison & Hetherington for the 16th year, and supported by headline sponsors Norbrook, Woodheads and Carrs Billington, Agri Expo 2023 will draw farmers, exhibitors and visitors from all over the UK to what is now recognised as the biggest autumn livestock showcase of its kind in Britain.

The Northern Farmer: Borderway expo at Carlisle

As always, the highlight of a packed schedule will be the ultra-competitive livestock classes, with 22 national prime sheep classes, the famous Mule Gimmer Lamb class and 25 national suckled calf and cattle classes attracting some of the finest cattle and sheep the UK has to offer.

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Choosing the champions from these line-ups of exceptional livestock requires equally outstanding judgement, and Agri Expo is delighted to have secured four of the most respected judges in their respective areas of expertise. Casting an eagle eye over the 2023 sheep classes is John Sinnet who farms in the Welsh Borders; North Wales farmer and breeder Gwyn Edwards will judge the Commercial Cattle classes, and Donegal’s Pearse McNamee will be judging the Baby Beef classes. Judging the highly anticipated Mule Gimmer Lamb class is noted Lancashire farmer and Mule breeder, Will Sedgley.

Agri Expo will also provide a perfect platform for five breed society shows: The Border British Blue Club Calf Show will be judged by Barney Morgan from the Alemeley Blues herd; the Simmental Regional Calf Show will be judged by Heather Duff from Pitmudie Farm near Dundee; the Hereford National Calf Show will be judged by Twm Jones from Gwastadgoed, Powys; Esyllt Price will be travelling from the Llwynhywel Herd based near Aberystwyth to judge the Beef Shorthorn National Calf Show; and John Lohoar from the Glenbervie Herd at Fettercairn will be judging the Aberdeen Angus Winter National Show.

The Northern Farmer: The 2022 Overall Champion, Sassy Girl, a 16-month-old Limousin heifer from Little and Shortt

Harrison & Hetherington managing director, Scott Donaldson, said: “We have been bowled over by the support Agri Expo has received over the years, and I would like to offer my wholehearted thanks to all the exhibitors, the judges and the visitors who make this such a significant and successful event for the industry.

"I would also like to thank the many trade stand exhibitors, from breed societies to feed companies to machinery dealers, who make Agri Expo such a brilliant showcase for the latest research, developments, and technology that helps farmers improve efficiency and production back at home.”

Returning for the third year is the David Thomlinson Lifetime Achievement Award, which was awarded last year to Cumbrian farmer, John Hall of Inglewood Edge Farm, whose nomination outlined his commitment to helping others succeed, and his support for young people to secure the future of the industry and the breeds he cares so deeply about.

This award will once again be presented by David’s wife, Sheila Thomlinson, and the judges will be looking for someone who, like David, has a passion for the future success of the industry and is an inspiration to others.

The Northern Farmer: The 2022 Overall Champion Sassy Girl with Reserve Champion Prime Suspect

New to 2023 will be the Borderway Agri Expo Silage Competition, sponsored by leading independent UK seed suppliers, Watson Seeds, which offers farmers the chance to demonstrate their highest standards in a critical area of the livestock farming skillset – grass production – in three classes: Class 1 Beef Clamp; Class 2 Big Bale; and Class 3 Whole Crop.

There is plenty on offer to encourage and support the next generation, including Young Handlers classes and the David Allen Stockperson of the Year Competition – a specialist event at Agri Expo which test the skills, knowledge and capabilities of aspiring livestock farmers. The Young Vlogger Competition will also be running again, encouraging those under 16 to submit a short video of ‘A Day in the Life’ on their farm.

H&H Land & Estates will again host seminars highlighting current industry challenges, changes and issues. The first of the day will be on Breeding Stock for the Future – Carbon, Consumer & Care; followed by Farming Business Success: Opportunities for the Future. Audiences will have the opportunity to listen to and question a panel of experts throughout these interactive sessions.

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Scott Donaldson concluded: “Clearly the livestock are the stars of the show, but the schedule this year once again offers something for everybody, including huge encouragement to the younger generation of livestock farmers.

"Once again Agri Expo will offer a unique opportunity for all those involved in the industry to see and share new ideas, innovations and new technology. In the current climate of uncertainty and change, we hope we can offer not only a showcase for excellence, but advice and information that will help the industry move forward into the future.”

It has been announced that Cancer Research will be the official charity of this year’s event and fundraising will take place throughout the day, with monies raised from initiatives such as programme sales, competitions, and collection boxes.

Gates open to the public at 8am. Entry and parking is free. For more information, visit borderwayagriexpo.co.uk. For updates, follow us at Facebook @BorderwayAgriExpo and Instagram @borderwayagriexpo.