The conference, sponsored by Quality Meat Scotland, will be held at Perth Agricultural Centre on the eve of Beef Expo which will be held at the same venue the following day, Wednesday, May 21, and is expected to attract thousands of beef farmers from all over the UK and Ireland as well as several other European countries. Major sponsor of Beef Expo 2008 is Lloyds TSB Agriculture.
Visitors will also have the opportunity of viewing two Perthshire beef farms on the morning of the conference. It will be followed by the pre-event dinner that evening in Dewar's Centre, Perth.
The conference will adopt the Beef Expo theme of "Engage With Beef - Sustainable Systems" and the speakers are Donald Biggar, chairman of Quality Meat Scotland, Dr Mike Tempest, technical director of the Livestock and Meat Commission, Northern Ireland, and Brian Pack, chief executive of ANM Group Ltd. The conference will be chaired by David Leggat, executive chairman of United Auctions, operators of Perth Agricultural Centre.
"This is a formidable line-up of speakers who are all well-known for their forthright views on the beef industry," said Beef Expo organising committee chairman, Randal Wilson. "We as beef producers are hopefully entering a new era of renewed optimism and we our looking to our speakers to point the way towards a sustainable and profitable beef industry in the future."
Donald Biggar has been chairman of QMS for more than two years and was recently confirmed as chairman for the next three years following QMS's move from an industry-owned company to public body wholly accountable to Scottish Ministers. He is a commercial beef producer and successful breeder of pedigree Aberdeen-Angus and Beef Shorthorn cattle at Chapelton and The Grange, Castle Douglas, and also a director of SAC.
Mike Tempest joined LMC in 1996 as agricultural manager but his role has expanded to technical director with responsibility for the provision of technical information and services to the beef and sheep industries in Northern Ireland. He has been instrumental in developing a sustainable strategy for the NI beef and sheep sectors following a critical review carried out by the NI Red Meat Task Force. A key objective is to assist the NI beef and sheep industry to become profitable in a free market.
As chief executive of the farmer-owned business, ANM Group, since 1990, Brian Pack is responsible for a £192 million throughput business which includes Aberdeen and Northern Marts, Scotch Premier Meat Ltd and Yorkshire Premier Meat Ltd. He was previously chief executive of dairy company, Mackie's, and an economist with the old North of Scotland College of Agriculture (now part of SAC). He is also chairman of the Rowett Research Institute.