First meeting of beef expertise group has taken place
A group of beef industry consultants and advisers have got an in-depth insight into herd performance and selecting cattle for slaughter, thanks to a new initiative from AHDB Beef Lamb and the British Institute of Agricultural Consultants (BIAC).
The first meeting of the Developing Beef Expertise programme, which took place earlier this month in Lancashire, involved 16 consultants and advisers from across the industry. The two-day event, which included a visit to Rowntree Farm near Clitheroe followed by a ‘Live to Dead’ day at Dunbia, Sawley, also provided an opportunity for the group to network with others with an interest in beef production.
Between them, the group have over 200 years’ experience of working with farmers. However, they are still keen to develop their skills to improve their advice to producers and improve their awareness of AHDB Beef Lamb’s resources.
Dr Liz Genever, Senior Beef and Sheep Scientist at AHDB Beef Lamb, said: “Currently only 10 per cent of beef producers use professional technical support in the form of consultants and advisers. This figure is likely to increase as more producers look to external support to improve their business efficiency and their ability to deal with price volatility.
“This is the first time AHDB Beef Lamb has worked actively with a group of consultants and advisers in this way. The aim is that, equipped with the right knowledge, skill and resources, the 16 consultants and advisers will continue to help their clients improve their businesses, with an increased awareness of the work we do.”
Feedback from the initial meeting was positive, Charlotte Johnston from Innovation for Agriculture said “the workshop was a great way to learn about the work AHDB Beef Lamb do and the resources they have available. I have taken away valuable information from the first session which will be useful for my business and that of my clients”.
A further four, two-day workshops will be held in 2016 covering topics such as feed efficiency, bull selection, grass and forage, health and building design. The final workshop in December will look at rationing and feeds.
Following on from the success of the beef group, the intention is to establish a similar programme for sheep consultants later in 2016.
More information about the programme can be found on the AHDB Beef Lamb website.