Training courses are available to sheep and beef farmers across Wales, so producers can rear stock to the highest standards, meet consumer needs and ensure cost efficiency.
Livestock selection courses are being run by Hybu Cig Cymru – Meat Promotion Wales (HCC) during the autumn at Wales’s major abattoirs to offer training and advice on the latest industry developments, meaning that world class PGI Welsh Lamb & Beef will continue to be produced to the highest standards.
The courses are free to attend and offer producers practical demonstrations and hands on abattoir experience, providing analysis and assessment throughout the whole selection process.
Each event is held at an abattoir with places for up to a dozen farmers on each course. There is detailed instruction on handling points and factors to be considered when selecting cattle and sheep for slaughter including: handling techniques, market specifications, supply chain requirements, carcase classification, dressing specifications and breed traits.
Katherine Evers-Swindell, who is part of a new lamb marketing initiative ‘Ladies who Lamb’ recently attended a livestock selection course with Farming Connect. Commenting on the experience she said:
“It was helpful to learn about trends within the sale of lamb, what cuts are preferred in the UK and where we export certain cuts and offal to. It was also useful to understand the possibilities which will affect lamb production and consumption after Brexit. But overall, I feel I now have more authenticity promoting meat now I have witnessed the whole process.”
However, the course is not only suitable to those who are new to farming but to those who have been rearing stock for years.
Ifan Hughes, Farming Connect’s Denbighshire Development Officer for Menter a Busnes, recently brought a group of farmers who are members of a Farming Connect Discussion Group to a livestock selection course:
“We all found the livestock selection course very enjoyable and informative. Since these farmers were more used to selling their stock live at a market, the day proved to be highly useful – particularly the information about grading and the value of different cuts.”
Ifan continued, “Although these farmers had been rearing sheep for decades, the course was a real eye-opener and a chance to delve deeper into the thought process behind livestock selection in abattoirs. I would certainly recommend it to any farmer, whether they have been farming for years or are brand new to it.”
James Ruggeri, HCC’s Industry Development Executive and organiser of the livestock selection courses said,
“The livestock selection courses provide an invaluable experience to Welsh sheep and beef farmers. We aim to provide farmers with the latest industry information, selection standards and an insight into what processors and consumers are looking for, ensuring that farmers are producing the best meat in the most efficient and cost effective ways possible. ”
James continued “I would like to extend a warm invitation to lamb and beef producers across Wales to join us on a livestock selection course.”
Livestock selection courses will be running throughout autumn and can be booked by phoning 01970 625050 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org