The NSA is a specialist organisation providing a voice for all in the sheep industry, be they pedigree breeders or commercial producers, upland or lowland, large or small. We are dedicated to safeguarding the interests and future of sheep farmers in every part of the UK and speak out on all issues that affect you.
We aim to support all our members in two key ways.
1. Strongly representing (to the Government and others) the views of those on the ground, urging them to talk in common sense language and focus on practicality, be it sheep identification, CAP reform, fallen stock or animal welfare.
2. Providing top quality technical information and events, to help you in your sheep farming business.
Representing the views of the sheep sector
By signing up to NSA you could also be confident we are working tirelessly to represent sheep farmers’ views and concerns to the Government, environmental/animal welfare organisations and others. We are widely recognised as the first port of call for the provision of sound, practical views on sheep industry issues, allowing us access to Government ministers and key industry spokespeople. Current priorities include:-
- The environment. Promoting the vital role sheep play in sustaining the UK’s rural environment and arguing that policies (such as CAP reform) should recognise this and be realistic in encouraging food production as well as environment stewardship.
- Regulatory burden. Pressuring Defra and others to reduce unnecessary bureaucracy and red tape, encouraging England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland to have a consistent approach where appropriate, and ensuring long-term issues such as on-farm burial and carcase splitting do not fall off the agenda.
- The marketplace. Working to create and protect trade opportunities, by ensuring UK lamb is seen as a high quality, safe and traceable product, and encouraging a variety of organisations to help producers access a range of market opportunities.
- Flock efficiency. Encouraging farmers to increase efficiency and promoting to the general public that UK sheep farmers are reducing their carbon footprint by producing more meat from the same (or less) amount of land, ewes and inputs.
- The next generation. Investing in the sheep farmers of the future with a dedicated young entrants project, as well as running regional and national Young Shepherd’s competitions and facilitating overseas travel when possible.
- Sheep health. Promoting good health and welfare, by working with a wide range of organisations, including levy bodies, the Sheep Veterinary Society and SCOPS, and reminding the general public of the excellent work sheep farmers do every day.
Providing top quality technical information and events
We ensure NSA members are kept informed and up-to-date in a number of ways:-
- The Sheep Farmer – the official journal of NSA. Six issues of this magazine are posted each year, exclusively to NSA members and completely free of charge. Each edition is packed full of NSA news, the latest industry information and topical technical articles. Find out more about Sheep Farmer here.
- Weekly Email Update – free and exclusively for NSA members. With succinct snippets of information on the latest issues, including regulation, the marketplace and events, the Email Update is a quick and easy way to keep abreast of what is going on in the industry.
- NSA website – including the Members-Only area. From the latest news to a packed dairy of events, this website it a one-stop-shop for sheep farmers. Quality information is being added all the time, and within the Members-Only area are added extras, including information on the activity of NSA specialist committees.
- Associate Membership of the Moredun Foundation. A real added bonus for UK NSA members is they are automatically associate members of the Moredun Foundation too, meaning access to a wealth of articles and news-sheets from the Moredun Research Institute and its world-class experts on sheep health and disease.
- Specialist NSA Sheep Events. Every year NSA regions organise events, which complement the biennial national NSA Sheep Event with hundreds of trade stands, practical demonstrations, speakers forums and thousands of sheep farmers all in one place. While anyone can attend, NSA members benefit from reduced admission. View out diary of events here.
- Evening meetings, conferences and farm walks. Organised regionally these events provide ideal opportunities for information gathering and talking with fellow sheep farmers – all completely free to NSA Members and offering an incredible range of topics, locations and opportunities.
- NSA Ram Sales. These also take place around the country, offering incredible quality and variety, and including Europe’s biggest specialist sale of breeding rams at Builth Wells each September. Only NSA members can sell at NSA sales, so whether buying or selling rams NSA has the answers.
In all the policy work we do, the views of members working every day in the sheep sector is vital. Therefore, the NSA has a regional structure and also a network of specialist committees to bring together expertise and opinion. This embraces all our members, be they sheep farmers or working in an ancillary trade as an auctioneering, processor, vet, consultant or other. Constant communication and a variety of members makes the NSA what it is – and we encourage all members to get involved at a regional level, attending event and even progressing to be a regional representative if they wish. As well as getting to know your regional office holders, members can also contact our Head Office at Malvern at any time, with questions, concerns, good news or bright ideas.
All these benefits, publications and opportunities for representation are only available through NSA membership. The joining fee is £50, which entitles you to 12 months of membership (please see attached NSA Membership Application Form for joining discounts).
NSA is funded almost entirely by subscriptions from members, so the support of all sheep farmers is vital. If you want to have quality information and have your voice heard then JOIN NSA TODAY, by downloading the membership form below or by phoning the NSA office at Malvern on 01684 892661.
An added benefit of joining the NSA before the end of September 2013 is automatic entry into a draw to win a Rappa mobile sheep handling yard. Find out more here.