Preparations are in place for this month's Borderway Agri Expo with an outstanding line-up for the five national breed shows and also the cattle, baby beef, and sheep classes.

Judging this year’s Aberdeen Angus classes is Andrew Hodge of Rulesmains Farm near Duns in the Scottish Borders. Andrew, with his wife Jill and daughter Emma, farm a 1,500-acre family farming enterprise, which is in the main arable, along with a 135 head suckler herd of cattle which includes the noted Ruelsmains herd of Aberdeen Angus. The herd was established in 2008, and today, comprises of 110 Pedigree Aberdeen Angus.

The Northern Farmer: Andrew Hodge, the judge of the Aberdeen Angus show

Explaining what he will be looking for, Andrew said: “Cattle that have character and presence in the ring of course, along with shape and growth. Agri Expo is an important event for the young calves, and it is always great to see the high calibre of stock which is put forward and I am looking forward to judging them.”

Simmentals judge Heather Duff and her parents, Arthur and Jennifer, established their Pedigree Simmental enterprise in 2010 at Pitmudie Farm near Dundee. Heather farms part-time at home, helping to build their pedigree Simmental herd up to 50 calving cows alongside a 110-strong commercial herd.

The Northern Farmer: Heather Duff, the Simmental judge

Having started showing cattle about ten years ago, the family have become successful regulars on the Scottish showing circuit, winning female and reserve overall Simmental, at the Highland Show in 2018 and taking Champion of Champions at Fettercairn and Interbreed Cattle Champion at Kirriemuir Show this season.

Heather said: “This is a great honour, and I am delighted to have been invited to judge the Simmentals at such a noted event. When judging I will be looking for well-balanced animals with good locomotion, and I will also be looking for character.”

The Beef Shorthorn classes are to be judged by Esyllt Price of Llanilar, Aberystwyth in Wales. In partnership with her husband and parents, Esyllt farms 550 acres at Llanilar, where the Price family established their Llwynhywel pedigree herd seven years ago.

The Northern Farmer: Esyllt Price, Beef Shorthorn judge

Today, they calve 90 pedigree Beef Shorthorn breeding females, including 70 pure cows, alongside 60 commercial cows. The farm’s sheep enterprise includes 850 ewes, and its noted equine enterprise is home to 15 Welsh cob mares.

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Esyllt showed their female champion and reserve overall champion shorthorn at the Great Yorkshire Show in 2022, when the world congress show of the beef shorthorn was taking place. Esyllt has judged Beef Shorthorn at shows in Darlington, and some local shows in Wales, but this will be her first visit to Agri Expo.

She said: “I am absolutely delighted to have been asked to judge. It’s a real honour and I am looking forward to seeing what I know will be some exceptional quality cattle. I’ll be looking for a smart, stylish, eye catching, powerful animal, that has plenty of length and width with good growth potential.”

Hereford Calf Show judge Twm Jones, 26, farms with his parents and brother at Gwastadgoed Farm in Wales, running their pedigree herd of Herefords and a flock of commercial sheep.

The Northern Farmer: Twm Jones, the judge of the Hereford cattle show

Home to the Dendor Herefords since the herd’s formation by Twm’s grandparents in the early 1960s, the family switched to Poll Herefords in the 1970s with the introduction of stock bull Wayland 1 Harrow, and today the aim of the Dendor Herd is to continue to produce cattle that are capable of producing offspring for either the pedigree or commercial herd that meet the current market requirements. Twm has shown cattle across the UK and is no stranger to showing at Agri Expo.

He said: “I am very excited to have been invited to judge, it is an honour to be asked. Being from Wales, I am looking forward to seeing cattle from other areas of the country, and when judging I will be looking for all the traditional values of the Hereford, along with meeting the modern demands of today’s farmers and consumers.”

Barney Morgan from the Almeley Herd in Herefordshire will be judging the British Blues. Set up by his father Graham Morgan, the noted Almeley Blues Herd today comprises 35 breeding cows. The Morgan’s regularly sell in the region of 15 bulls across the spring and autumn sales at Carlisle and in recent years have topped sales at Carlisle. At this year’s spring sale, they achieved a 100 per cent clearance.

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Barney has always been involved in the family farming enterprise, running 700 feeding cattle alongside their pedigree Blues, and having helped show cattle from a young age, it is Barney who now does the showing. Aged 25, he is already well respected within the British Blue Cattle Society and has judged at a number of local shows.

The Northern Farmer: Barney Morgan, judge of the British Blues show

He said: “It is a real privilege to be invited to judge at such a prestigious event. It will be a challenge, but in judging I will be looking for correctness, mobility and wide tops and an all-round animal with a sweet head combined with power and a beast that will help the breed move forward.”

Borderway Agri Expo’s event organiser, Laura Millar, said: “These five major breed society national shows are a wonderful highlight at Agri Expo. It’s a privilege to welcome the best of these superb pedigree breeds to Borderway, and we have the very best of experts to judge them for us.”

For more information on Borderway Agri Expo, or to enter livestock, visit