NSA Central Region Early Gathering

  • Event Info
  • Seminars
  • Highlights
  • Exhibitors
  • Sponsors

A successful start to a busy year of NSA events kicked off at the end of January, with the NSA Central Region Early Gathering. The new style brought with it a brand-new format and meant much more of the event was moved undercover within the warmth of the market concourse, making way for a packed programme of seminars, interactive workshops and demonstrations.

Four seminar sessions ran through the day, all a with the topical theme of health, be it securing the industry’s health through the next generation, keeping farm records healthy and staying legal, ensuring businesses healthy survival post-Brexit, or a look at common human health problems experienced by farmers.

Fred Love, an NSA Next Generation Ambassador and sheep farmer from Retford, Nottinghamshire, spoke in the first seminar session on starting a sheep enterprise from scratch. He says: “When I started out in 2012 with a goal of establishing a flock of 1,000 ewes I knew I’d need to work hard to achieve this. I treat land like it is my own, keep it tidy and pay the rent on time and I’m always honest. My mantra is work hard until your idols become your rivals.”

A look at Brexit provided a frank and forthright discussion about the future for the sheep industry, giving the audience cause for optimism but also some stark facts about realities going forward. Panellists included Martin Redfearn of the Policy Group and David Swales of AHDB. Mr Redfearn was clear in his message that ‘doing what you have always done will not do’, while Mr Swales presented a mix of optimism and concern regarding the post-Brexit future for the sheep industry.

Interactive demonstrations provided an informal setting for visitors to get involved, including a session from sheepdog expert Katy Cropper who shared her thoughts on keeping sheepdogs healthy and making the most of them on farm. Workshop sessions highlighted some key messages around the sustainable use of wormers with independent sheep consultant Lesley Stubbings.

There were also very strong entries in the NSA Next Generation Shepherds and Inter-Schools competitions. At just 17 years old, William Leese of Eccleshall, Staffordshire, performed very well on the day to walk away with the top prize. Like many of the competitors on the day, he attended the event as part of a group from Reaseheath College, Cheshire.

Phil Stocker, NSA Chief Executive, reports: “It was fantastic to be able to welcome such a crowd to the event yesterday, with the new format and improved weather on previous years all contributing. In particular Anne Payne, NSA Central Region Manager, and Alastair Sneddon, NSA Central Region Chairman and Senior Partner at Bagshaws who worked hard to pull the day together. Hopefully all who attended will have gone home with information to benefit their businesses for some time in the future.” A full report can be found on the on the NSA website here.  


NSA Central Region Early Gathering promises an action packed programme of seminars, demonstrations and interactive workshops – all incorporating the theme of health. Scroll down for details below:-

Seminars: in the large conference room



Chairman and Speakers

11am -12 noon

The Next Generation: Securing the future health of the sheep sector.

Three young sheep farmers will provide tips for the next generation, based on their experiences developing businesses and careers

  • Chaired by Samuel Wharry, NSA Chairman and County Antrim sheep farmer in a share farming agreement
  • Ellen Helliwell, originally from Derbyshire and now working in Cumbria, on developing a career as an employed shepherd
  • Fred Love from Nottinghamshire on starting a sheep enterprise from scratch
  • Robert Spink, from the Suffolk/Norfolk border, on farming with little owned land

12 noon - 1pm

Keeping your records healthy: Doing what you have to do to stay legal, and using hardware and software to aid flock management

Two experts will provide advice on avoiding cross compliance penalties and using flock data

  • Chaired by Jude Pealing, Bagshaws Farm Office Services Manager
  • Ian Cairns of the Farming Advice Service on common cross compliance issues and how to avoid them
  • Hilary O’Keife of Shearwell Data on how to make the most of EID to drive your flock

2pm - 3pm

Brexit health check: Helping farming ensure they can survive life outside the EU

There may still be more questions around Brexit than answers, but this seminar will aim to provide practical tips for farmers to secure the long-term health of their businesses

  • Chaired by Alastair Sneddon, Bagshaws Senior Partner and NSA Central Region Chairman
  • Martin Redfearn, The Policy Group, on health-checking your individual businesses to prepare for an unknown future
  • David Swales, Head of Strategic Insight at AHDB, on what future trade deals might look like
  • Phil Stocker, NSA Chief Executive, on a vision for future farm support and on-farm regulation

3pm – 4pm

Health essentials: Ensuring the health of everyone on the farm.

Every day is busy on a sheep farm, meaning the things closest to home often get forgotten. Professionals will talk about the how to keep the farmer, family members and workers healthy

  • David Howlett, NSA Central Region Committee Member
  • Nurse Karen Allen, Derbyshire Community Health Services, on common health problems for farmers
  • Physiotherapist Fiona Horton, Derbyshire Community Health Services, on common physical problems experienced by farmers
  • Dr Phoebe Sneddon, Sherwood Forest Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, on how to deal with a major on-farm accident or medical emergency

Demonstrations: in the main ring







Keeping your sheepdog healthy

Renowned sheepdog expert Katy Cropper will provide practical tips on getting the most of your farm dogs

Katy Cropper




Encouraging healthy demand for lamb

This interactive butchery demonstration will show the latest work on innovative cuts, designed to attract new consumers to lamb and keeping existing lamb enthusiasts regularly buying the product

Martin Eccles, AHDB Beef & Lamb

Interactive workshops: in the small conference room




11am-12 noon



Healthy use of wormers, flukicides and antibiotics

Independent sheep experts will provide tips and advice in this interactive workshop on the sustainable use of on-farm medicines.

  • Lesley Stubbings, independent sheep consultant
  • Chris Lewis, independent sheep vet

12 noon - 1pm



Planning for a healthy flock

Prevention of problems before they occur will be the theme for this practical workshop session, focusing on proactive health planning.

  • Adrian Tantrum, MSD Animal Health Sales and Marketing Manager
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Agri Lloyd

Agri Lloyd is a UK manufacturer of ruminant health and nutrition products selling directly to farm customers. 

T: 01253 797400

E: hollie.robinson@tangerineholdings.co.uk

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Agrimin Ltd

Agrimin 24.7 Smartrace boluses for the mid pregnant ewe guaranteed supplementation through to peak lactation. 
T: 01652 688046 
E: info@agrimin.co.uk 

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AHDB Beef & Lamb

AHDB Beef and Lamb Better Returns Programme (BRP) provides technical information for producers on selection, breeding, feeding, forage, health, fertility and costings. 

T:  024 7647 8834

E: brp@ahdb.org.uk

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AL Fencing

Electric fencing replairs. 

T: 01246 211425

E: arran_lange@hotmail.com

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Bedmax dust free shavings made especially for horses.

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British Wool Marketing Board

A full range of panels showing current wool market situation and useful hints on wool management. 
T: 01274 688666 
E: gjones@britishwool.org.uk 

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Carrs Billington

Suppliers of comprehensive ranges of health, feed and sundry products to the farming and rural communities at competitive prices. 
T: 01785 760535 
E: customerservices@carrs-billington.com 

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CCM Auctions

Farmstock auctioneers and valuers. Regular and seasonal sales of North of England Mule gimmers, store lambs, breeding sheep and sheepdogs. 
T: 01756 792375 
E: ted@ccmauctions.com 

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Clinwin Nutrition Services

Supplement feeds. 

Dalton Livestock ID Ltd

One of the easiest and least expensive ways to electronically tag your sheep. 
T: 01636 700990 
E: sales@dlid.co.uk 

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Ellipse Fabrications

Supplier of bespoke structures. 


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Fecpak G2

FEC without a microscope. Remote location parasite assessment. Quick information for farmer, manager, vet or advisors enabling informed management decisions.  

T: 01970 821918 

E: uk@techiongroup.com

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Animal feed - compounders and blenders.

E: alison.ewing@forfarmers.eu

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GD Troth

Manufactures of domestic and agricultural knives. 

E: bennytroth@googlemail.com

Gilbertson & Page

Gilbertson & Page, a family company manufacturing dog food since 1873.

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GLW Feeds

Specialise in roll, nut, pellet and meal-form compound feeds across Dairy, Beef, Sheep, Pig and Poultry. 

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Horner Shearing

Shearing and clipping equipment.

T: 01200 427419 
E: info@hornershearing.com 

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JG Animal Health

Premier sheep and lamb drench. Just two of the high specification nutritional supplements from our unique range of products. 
T: 01886 880482 
E: jganimalhealth@aol.com 

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Lambert & Dyson Ltd

The Landy range of PTO powered pressure washers, including drain setters, tank mounted and pressure washer accessories. Mainland delivery included. 
T: 01756 794291 
E: post@landypressurewashers.com 

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Lleyn Sheep Society

The modern breeding ewe which works well with the terminal sires. 

T: 01758 730366 

E: promotions@lleynsheep.com 

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Mole Valley Farmers

Information on product ranges and technical services available through Mole Valley Farmers and Mole Country Stores.

E: claire.gibson@molecountrystores.com

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Nettex supply nutritional technology solutions and animal husbandry equipment products. 
T: 01634 257150 
E: info@net-tex.co.uk 

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NFU, an organisation that champions all farmers and growers in England and Wales.

E: andrew.critchlow@nfu.org.uk

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NSF Agriculture UK

Food safety and certification services.

E: j.bailey@nsf.org

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A welfare charity supporting farming families.

T: 01865 724931

E: info@rabi.org.uk 

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Roxan ID

EID tagging system for slaughter or breeding sheep. Roxan Tagfaster dispenses 20 batch tags or 10 sets of coloured twins. 
T: 01750 22940 
E: sales@roxan.co.uk 

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Rumenco are livestock supplement and feeding system specialists. 
T: 01283 511211 
E: jcalcott@rumenco.co.uk 

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SAI Global

SAI Global are the oldest and most established certification body and leading supplier of Farm Assurance in England.

E: debbie.stanton@saiglobal.com 

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Severn Trent Water

Severn Trent Water agricultural representatives available to provide advice to farmers.  

E: margaret.baile@severntrent.co.uk

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Suffolk Sheep Society

Fastest growth terminal sire breed, reducing production costs and increasing profitability. Suffolk-cross females offer easier lambing and increased performance lambs. 
T: 02825 632342 
E: lewismcc@suffolksheep.org 

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Suzuki’s range of innovative ATVs from the lightweight Ozark250 to the powerful Kingquad 750 are ideal for sheep farmers. 

T: 05000 11959 

E: customerservices@suzuki.co.uk 

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Trouw Nutrition GD

Suppliers of nutritional products and services to the animal feed industry. 

T: 01733 871169

E: sarah.rider@trouwnutrition.com

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Warwick University

The University of Warwick is a research university in Coventry, England. 

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Woolly Roadshow

Educational promotion of British sheep, British wool and the Rare Breeds Survival Trust, supported by Griffiths' Mill, NSA and BWMB.

T: 01283 585444

E: david:girffithsfarming.com

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