< Best of British Breeding - Farmer Panel

A panel of leading farmers will discuss the hot topics for British cattle breeders in the final sessions of both Beef and Dairy Days at the BCBC 2023 conference.

Three successful beef farmers will be getting to grips with the most pressing topics for the sector in our panel discussion which will conclude the conference’s Beef Day.

Bridget Borlase runs a butchery business alongside a small herd of pedigree Simmental suckler cows in Hertfordshire. Her success with ‘Bridget B’s Butchery’ saw her named Women in Meat’s Craft Butcher of the Year in 2021.

Paul Williams was Farmers Weekly Beef Farmer of the Year in 2017. He runs a suckler and dairy beef system in Snowdonia National Park. The business rears calves from 14 days old through to 20 months with an emphasis on genetics and use of technology.

Completing the beef panel is Fraser Hugill, a director of the Beef Shorthorn Society. Fraser farms 400 acres in North Yorkshire and runs a mixed farm with 55 pedigree beef shorthorn cows. Nature conservation is a key component of the business with 45% of the home farm in stewardship options which sits alongside Frasers environmental consultancy business which is a member of the FWAG association. 

Rounding up the Dairy Day our panel will include Nicholas Eccles from Preston, Lancashire. Nicholas runs a herd of 210 pedigree Holsteins from his family’s modern unit which includes Lely robotics and a strong focus on animal welfare and efficiency.

Abi Reader is partner in a 220ha mixed family farming business in South Wales. As well as managing the 200-cow dairy herd she is current Chair of NFU Cymru’s Milk Board, Chair of CHECS (formerly known as Cattle Health Certification Standards), and founder of CowsOnTour.

Completing the dairy panel is David Homer.  He farms dairy and arable in partnership with his family near Marlborough with three herds in Wiltshire and one on the Isle of Bute totalling 1200 cross bred milkers plus youngstock. Autumn and spring calving blocks rotational grazing. In 2002 they received the Crown Estate Farmer of the Year award, were Gold Cup finalists in 2009, and won the Cream Award 2022 for Health and welfare - Lameness.  David is a Nuffield Scholar, a past board member of MDC/DairyCo, University of Reading farms board and Director of Waitrose Dairy Farmers.

For more information on the BCBC conference click here