The National Beef Association (NBA) has announced the appointment of Northumberland Farmer William Walton to its Board.
William, a member of the NBA, is the third generation of the Walton Family to have farmed Penpeugh Farm at Bardon Mill near Hexham in Northumberland. William’s role will be to represent the North East region for the NBA, and as a board member he will be a voice for the industry and contribute to the board and their decision making.
William farms the 450 acre typical Northumberland Hill Farm, near Hexham with his wife Fay and 18 year old son Ryan. William is a very well respected and noted beef and sheep farmer, Penpeugh farm is an upland unit, with a herd of 50 Suckler Cows including two stock bulls, a pedigree British Blue and a recently purchased Pedigree Beef Shorthorn, which will be put to the home bred British Blues.
As many heifer replacements as possible are bred on farm, with only the occasional need to purchase stock. Most cattle are sold through either Harrison and Hetherington’s Borderway Mart or Hexham and Northern, and in August last year they were awarded the Hexham and Northern Marts 19th Anniversary Prize Show with a Limousin cross calf.
William’s overall aim is to produce good quality suckler calves and breeding females for replacements. Silage is produced on the farm, all concentrates; pulses and straw are purchased in, so in their breeding plan they want calves which will grow and fill out, from a good milk producing female, without having to purchase in expensive concentrates.
After leaving school William attended Kirkley Hall College. He is more than fully aware that the beef industry faces many challenges, and over the years to ensure that they are producing suckler calves to meet the ever changing demands of the consumer, they have changed their beef breeding from Galloways, to Aberdeen Angus and most recently to the British Blue.
In taking up his role as a board member for the NBA William will proactively work with farmers throughout the Northumberland and the North East area, voicing and representing their views and thoughts on the future of beef farming in the region. On behalf of the NBA he will ensure that members are supplied with relevant information about the current topics under review and discussion.
Commenting on his appointment to the NBA Board he said: “I feel extremely honoured to have been invited to join the Board of the NBA and I am looking forward to this new challenge and working with the British Beef Industry. I will work hard to be a great ambassador and representative voice for beef farmers across the North East by both raising the profile of the NBA through its members, and keeping farmers fully informed about any changes and developments.
“From a regional perspective I would like to get more suckler cattle back on to the marginal and hill farms across the region, where the calves have to leave their farms at six to twelve months.”
William is also a very well respected farmer within the sheep industry. He is on the committee of the Blackface Sheep Breeders’ Association and has been for 30 years, was Vice Chairman for two years then Chairman for a further two years. He has also won the George Stephenson Memorial Trophy for the highest priced Blackface Ram in 2013 and then again this year, which was a personal best, achieving a sale of £13,000.
The NBA plays a vital part in the British Beef Industry and Chris Mallon Chief Executive comments on the appointment of William Walton: “We are delighted that William has accepted the invitation to join the Board. One of our key aims is raise the profile of the beef industry in his area, and William having lived and farmed in Northumberland all of his life brings a huge amount of knowledge, and will be instrumental in involving members of the NBA within the area, raising any issues they may have and enhancing the already great work that the NBA carries out within the industry sector.”
The NBA is recognised as the Beef Cattle Industry’s consultative body and the voice for a wide range of beef related national industry committees which direct national beef industry policy. It is there to preserve and improve for the benefit of the public, the general standards of cattle, especially beef cattle, in the United Kingdom, by promoting and encouraging the breeding of beef cattle. For more information about the NBA visit www.nationalbeefassociation.com.