Sommet De l’Elevage, Largest Livestock Show in Europe
The largest livestock show in Europe, the Sommet De l’Elevage is under way in Clermont-Ferrand; the heart of French agriculture. In its 25th year, the event boasts 2,000 animals, 1,400 exhibitors from 28 different countries and 85,000 attendees from around the world. The Sommet De l’Elevage hosts the finest French and European livestock with 750 beef-breed animals, 550 milk-breed cattle, 400 sheep and 300 horses on show or in competition.
There are more than 35 farm and agro-industrial sites that can be visited during the three days of the show. The tours include visits to beef and dairy cattle farms, sheep and goat units, agro-industrial sites and more. In addition to the traditional farm visits, there are four pre-tours on Tuesday, October 4, 2016, available to all international visitors.
One of the tours took attendees to look at a French Limousin breeding cattle farm operation in Aulhat-Saint-Privat.The tour was led by Nicolas Restituito who works with the French Limousin Selection and Genetics Showcase. He explained how some French cattlemen are working closely together to improve the Limousin breed through genetic advancement using different breeding techniques. When asked what the biggest challenge of his job is, he pondered briefly before smiling and saying “keeping all producers working together. Some cattle farmers have individual ideas on what they want to do…and of course the challenge of keeping all the producers involved happy, is working together too”.
Among the many activities on site at the Sommet de l’Elevage, is the top-billed national best of breed for the biggest breed in France, Charolais, where 400 breeding stock have entered in the breed’s National Championships. The main ring at the Zenith d’Auvergne, a spacious concert hall in the showground complex, is where the general public can watch the judging and admire the suckler breeds during the numerous presentations and competitions.
The Sommet de l’Elevage attracts many important politicians each year. To note already, the confirmed presence of Mr. Stephane Le Foll, French Agriculture and Forestry Minister and of Mr. Phil Hogan, the EU Commissioner for Agriculture and Rural Development. We caught up with Hogan to discuss his presence at the show, issues facing the cattle industry, and international trade.