Hundreds of Farmer Shareholders and customers attended Mole Valley Farmers’ first Farmer Expo, featuring more than 50 top agricultural suppliers.

The event, at the Matford Centre in Exeter, included dozens of trade stands and a host of seminars, led by industry experts covering topics on everything from consumer market trends and lowering carbon footprints to nutrition and soil management.

Farmers were able to meet with many of the industry’s leading manufacturers and suppliers of animal health products, timber and fencing supplies, milk replacers, dairy hygiene products, cattle handling equipment and much more.

They could discuss the latest products, innovations and services, as well as take advantage of some unique and exclusive show day deals.

The trade fair included teams from Cargill, Nukamel, Strathclyde, Nettex, M&M timber, IAE and Deosan.

Nettex rep Alan Bloomfield said: “This is a great event for suppliers because it’s completely farmer focused. It gives us a chance to talk to the end users of our products.”

The packed seminar schedule for the free event proved popular, with standing room only for many of the talks.

Father and son William and Alastair Dawe, who run a mixed farm near Tavistock, praised the seminars at the event.

William said: “I’ve learnt a lot. The seminars weren’t too long and full of useful information. I would definitely come to any future events like this. It was a great team effort from everyone involved.”

Plymouth University biologist and marine scientist, Dr Mark Whiteside, said he attended the event, with his smallholding father Malcolm, as part of a multi-million-pound research project on animal behaviour and the impact of livestock on the environment.

He said: “We’re currently crunching a lot of data to find ways of mitigating against things like soil compaction and using technology to spot health issues like foot disease.

“Events like this are great for networking and we’re trying to get to as many seminars as we can to hear from the experts and farmers themselves.”

Nukamel CEO Jan Druyts, usually based in Antwerp, said his team spoke to dozens of people about the company’s latest innovation ProtéGo, a breakthrough calf formula inspired by colostrum.

He said: “This event has been very useful because we have had a dedicated audience of farmers who can give us the feedback we need.

“They have been asking a lot of questions. As the first event of its kind, it’s been excellent and we have had a lot of interest in our new product.”

Head of Sales at Mole Valley Farmers, Sam Holdstock, said the company’s ethos of cooperation and collaboration underpinned the event and was vital in a challenging market.

She added: “The day had a great buzz with hundreds of our Farmer Shareholders, members and customers attending. This event was all about bringing our farmers, suppliers and our teams together, to share information, learn from each other and help plan for the year ahead.

“Many of our farmers took advantage of some of the show deals on offer which was great to see. The seminar room was also busy throughout the day. The feedback has been really positive and we’d like to thank all of our farmers and suppliers who supported the event.”