Sustainable livestock production: Fit for the Future

02 February 2023, 10:00 – 16:00

J36 Rural Auction Centre, Crooklands, Milnthorpe, Cumbria LA7 7FP

A graphic of the North West events logo

Join the NFU Livestock team and AHDB for a conference centred on the theme of “Sustainable livestock production: Fit for the future”.

At this year's conference we will be joined by a range of speakers including farmers, researchers and industry specialists to provide expertise from across the red meat supply chain. 

Throughout the day the event will focus on sustainable livestock production, as well as looking at the future of farming.

Delegates will have the opportunity to discuss the latest thinking with experts from across the red meat supply chain.

To find out more and to book your space, contact the NFU North West Regional Office on 01695 554900 or email [email protected]

Everyone is welcome to attend, but for catering purposes booking is essential. Please also advise on any dietary requirements.

Timings of the day


Opening address

NFU Deputy President Tom Bradshaw


Political address:

Tim Farron - MP for Westmorland and Lonsdale


Demonstrating sustainability within the supply chain:

Alice Liddle: Agriculture Specialist, Morrisons

Carrie McDermid, Head of Marketing AHDB

Andrew Loftus NFU

Chair: NFU North West Livestock Board Chairman John Longmire

12:10-13:10 Lunch

Introduction to afternoon session

Colin Bateman AHDB Beef and Lamb Sector Chairman


Science and solutions

James McCaughern, Lecturer in Beef Systems, Harper Adams University

Phil Bicknell,  Head of Business Development, CIEL


Looking to the future: How they are developing a sustainable future

Richard Findlay, NFU Livestock Board Chairman

Helen Dent, Independent Consultant

Mark Stott of Farm Gate Vets

Richard Carruthers, AHDBN Strategic Farmer

Paul Coates, Morrisons supplier

Chair: Sam Charlton AHDB


Summary and close:

Colin Bateman AHDB Beef and Lamb Sector Chairman

Meet the speakers

Tom Bradshaw

NFU President

Tom farms in partnership with his wife, Emily, and his parents in North Essex. Alongside a small owned farm they run a larger contract farming business growing a range of combinable crops across 950 hectares in North East Essex.

The home farm is based around arable production but has also diversified into equestrian and renewables.

Tom has represented the NFU from Local Branch Chairman through to Chair of the National Combinable Crops Board.

Alice Liddle

Morrisons Agriculture Specialist

Alice joined Morrisons' graduate scheme in manufacturing in 2018 and worked across different roles with the livestock team at Woodheads before joining Morrisons' egg packer, Chippindale Foods in 2020 - December 2021.

After a brief spell with Cranswick Country Foods, Alice moved back into Morrisons in December 2022 to work as the Agriculture Specialist for the whole Morrisons business. When not at work, Alice is a Council Member for the Yorkshire Agriculture Society, Vice Chair of the Masham Sheep Breeders Association and a fourth generation livestock farmer, through Liddle Lambs.

Dr James McCaughern

Beef Production systems lecturer | Harper Adams University

James is a sheep farmer from Northern Ireland, and a lecturer in beef production systems at Harper Adams University, Shropshire.

His research interests involve dairy and beef cattle, with a focus on feed efficiency, protein, and trace element nutrition. During the February conference, James will discuss the potential implications of sustainability for United Kingdom livestock farmers.  

Mark Stott

Mixed practitioner at Highgate Veterinary Clinic

Mark graduated from Glasgow University in 1992.

Having spent two years in Dumfries, Mark returned to the area as a mixed practitioner at Highgate Veterinary Clinic and in January 2011, helped form Farm Gate Vets.

Mark enjoys all aspects of farm animal practice but has a speciality in cow and bull fertility having obtained a Diploma in Bovine Reproduction from Liverpool University in 2001.

Over the past four years Richard has been part of AHDB’s strategic farm business and set some rigorous targets to hit with the reduction of feed, fertiliser and fuel whilst maintaining and improving grass growth to support and maybe increase ewe numbers.

This has been a success on the dry matter (DM) volume of the grass – which is now a regular part of Richard’s routines to measure grass growth.

Richard has 900 ewes with a further 200 ewe lambs that are off farm nearly 12 months as a ewe replacement policy, and a 40 suckler cow herd with 30 to 40 bought in growing stores, along with a small livery system for 14 horses.

The farm is an 162ha upland unit with 84ha of this being improved land.

Phil Bicknell

Head of Business Development, CIEL

Phil is an agricultural economics graduate from the University of Reading and his career includes a range of agri-food roles.

Prior to joining CIEL, Phil led the 50 strong market intelligence team at the Agricultural and Horticultural Development Board, equipping farmers and processors with the insight to manage market volatility, profitability, and policy change.

Phil was also chief economist at the National Farmers’ Union, spearheading the evidence to support a range of lobbying activity. Phil’s other roles include specialising in agri-trade issues at the US Department of Agriculture and advising a range of agribusiness clients with Bidwells.


CIEL is a world-leading farm animal research alliance, helping to bring new technologies and processes to livestock food production within the UK and worldwide.

It provides leadership, support and a platform for a world class hub of collaborative expertise, tackling the issues that no one part of the livestock food production sector can address alone.

Acting as the broker for one of the world’s largest livestock science hubs, CIEL work with leading researchers and industry partners across the supply chain to identify challenges, potential solutions and routes to research and development (R&D) funding.

Working with their members, CIEL deliver and support a range of grant applications across the livestock sector, securing funding from a variety of sources for projects.

Colin Bateman

AHDB sector chair for beef and lamb

Colin is the Sector Chair for Beef and Lamb at AHDB and a Non-Executive member of the main board of AHDB and is also an upland sheep and beef farmer on 900 acres in South west Cumbria.

The farm is a mix of Heather hill and improved pasture, running 1,300 composite maternal sheep and a 40 head herd of Angus and Hereford cross cows.

There is also an integrated dairy beef system on the farm together with glamping pods and a photography business.

Andrew Loftus

NFU Livestock Board member, North East

Andrew runs a small suckler herd with his wife Joanna near Masham in North Yorkshire, and is also involved with his family’s pedigree livestock farm in Lancashire (the Weeton Herd). He has two young sons.

Andrew was formerly Agriculture Manager at Wm Morrison Supermarkets, and has worked with numerous retailers and processors in his career as a consultant. He is currently a Director of SellmyLivestock, Graindex (UK) Ltd, and an independent board member of Meat and Livestock Commercial Services Ltd (MLCSL).

Richard Findlay

NFU Livestock Board chair

Richard farms a mixed beef and sheep holding in Westerdale in the North York Moors National Park.

He has 2000 acres of moorland in a HLS agreement and the farm is stocked with mainly Easycare ewes as well as pedigree flocks of Beltex and Suffolks.

He is director of the “7 Hill Farmers Ltd” producer group and has been NFU Livestock Board chair since March 2018.

Tim Farron MP

MP for Westmorland and Lonsdale

Tim has been the MP for Westmorland and Lonsdale since 2005.

In July 2015 Tim was elected leader of the Lib Dems. He stood down in June 2017 following the General Election and now is the party's spokesperson for the Environment.

Tim lives in Milnthorpe, south Cumbria with his wife Rosie, and their four children.

Event details
Start Date
02 February 2023 at 10:00
End Date
02 February 2023 at 16:00

J36 Rural Auction Centre, Crooklands, Milnthorpe, Cumbria LA7 7FP

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