NSA Sheep Northern Ireland

  • Event Info
  • Seminars
  • Highlights
  • Exhibitors
  • Sponsors

Plans are now well advanced for NSA Sheep Northern Ireland 2017, to be held on Monday 3rd July at Ballymena Livestock Mart. 

The event will see a number of successful attractions return including an open fleece competition, supported by BWMB, the popular sale of working sheepdogs and puppies and the Next Generation Shepherd of the Year competition, which is certainly an element not to be missed by shepherds aged 26 and under - find more information in the Highlights section.

Visitors will have the opportunity to see and compare a wide range, suitable for both hill and lowland production, while an excellent entry of trade stands will bring together examples of just about everything the sheep farmer could need - find more information in the Exhibitors section.

Make your way over to the calf ring, and you will find topical seminars taking place through the day on sheep health, soil management, grass utilization and unknowns associated with leaving the EU. Irish Farmers Journal Editor Justin McCarthy is one of the experts attending. And if it is hands-on sessions you are after, you are in luck since an extension to the market since NSA Sheep NI 2015 will hopefully allow for more of these during the day - find more information in the Seminars section.

All in all, a day not to be missed by sheep farmers, their families, or anyone interested in sheep farming.

This biennial event provides a platform for the industry representatives, breed societies, breeders and companies to assemble and display their products at a single devoted venue. Extra space this year will allow more stand space for individual breeders.

To discuss sponsorship options or opportunities to get involved in workshop sessions, contact Event Organiser Edward Adamson on 07711071290 or [email protected]

This Year's Speakers

John Grant, MRCVS Partner Parklands Veterinary Group - 'Sheep Health and Responsible use of Antibiotics' 

The animal health sector supports important initiatives promoting best practice in animal medicine. In the UK, the responsible use of medicines in agriculture alliance or RUMA was established in 1997 to promote high standards in food safety and animal health and welfare in the livestock industry. RUMA is an independent, non-profit, group with membership from a wide variety of organisations representing all stages of the food chain from ‘farm to fork’.

RUMA has played a significant role in the promotion of the responsible use of antibiotics and has developed a series of guidelines for the responsible use of antibiotics in livestock, which are designed for farmers and veterinary surgeons.

Underlying all these guidelines are guiding principles of disease control. On farm, reducing the need to use antibiotics in the first instance can be achieved by developing and implementing herd and flock health plans with the veterinary surgeon. These bespoke plans take individual factors on farm and animal health history into account and focus on preventative health measures. This means good biosecurity, hygiene, nutrition and reducing stress. The use of vaccines, where available are a key preventative health tool to reduce the incidence or severity of disease and the need to treat infections with antibiotics.


Justin McCarthy, Editor Irish Farmers Journal - 'Guidance on Cost of Production & Driving Profit'

Justin McCarthy became CEO of the Irish Farmers Journal in January 2014, having been appointed Editor of the paper in March 2013. Previously, Justin had held the position of Livestock Editor with the Irish Farmers Journal since August 2005. Having graduated with a Hons Degree in Agricultural Science in 2000, he spent almost two years working with Anglo Beef Processors (ABP) in Shrewsbury learning all aspects of the red meat processing sector. In 2004 he was awarded a Nuffield Farming Scholarship and travelled throughout Europe and New Zealand researching Profitable Beef Production from the Suckler Herd. On completion of his Scholarship he took up the role as Beef Specialist with Teagasc.  Since joining the Irish Farmers Journal, Justin has travelled extensively throughout Europe, New Zealand and South America. His reports on Brazilian beef production have been well documented both in Ireland and across the EU political arena. In 2008 his articles claimed both national in international awards. Justin still plays an active role in the management of the family suckler beef farm in Co Down.

Farming is a business that now requires a much more astute planning attitude rather than a muddle through approach. Justin will focus on those things that will make a difference and highlight how to have a business plan in place.


Phelim O'Neill Markets Specialist with Irish Farmers Journal - 'Implications of Brexit both North & South'

Phelim comes from a small farming background in Co Tyrone. He graduated in law and spent his working career in the meat industry and served a term as CEO with NIMEA.

Phelim spends some of his time in Europe and will be able to look at Brexit from both sides of the debate. The South of Ireland will be as vulnerable as the North to trade implications as we depend on each other on imports and exports.

If UK gets the deal we would like then trade could carry on with just a little disruption at the border but then we may have differing farm support systems. It is unlikely that the UK will continue direct payments but will it change to environmentally based payment and who will qualify? What will the new EU payments look like in the future? - probably they will also change.

Milk and sheep flow south for processing while cattle and pigs come north. Currency, farm payments, trade barriers and tariffs all make a difference to what the final outcome will be. Phelim may get eye strain with all the crystal ball gazing that will be necessary  over the next few years!


Murray Rohloff, International Sheep Consultant from New Zealand - 'A NZ Perspective on the Way Forward for Sheep Farming' 

In the mid 1980's faced with a budget crisis, New Zealand’s government decided to eliminate nearly all farm subsidies. That was a dramatic reform because New Zealand farmers had enjoyed high levels of aid and the country’s economy is very dependent on agriculture. Prior to the 1984 reforms, subsidies stifled farm productivity by distorting market signals and blocking innovation. Many farmers were farming for the sake of the subsidies. For example, nearly 40 percent of the average New Zealand sheep and beef farmer’s gross income came from government aid. We are not expecting UK to react in the same way as the NZ government but there are certain similarities and from these we may well be able to avoid the harsh times that NZ had at that time. With the removal of subsidies in New Zealand, agricultural practices are driven by the demands of consumers, not by efforts to maximize the receipt of subsidies. At the same time, the whole agricultural supply chain has improved its efficiency and food safety has become paramount. Businesses that deliver inputs to farming have had to reduce their costs because farmers have insisted on greater value for money.

Murray will give us advice on business management after his experiences in NZ

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3in1 Advantage Feeders

Leaders in controlled livestock feeders, including revolutionary 3in1 feeders for ration, ad lib and creep feeding, and innovative Bale Jails. 
T: 08000 786030 
E: [email protected] 

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AB Europe

Animal Breeding Europe (AB Europe) offers a wide range of artificial breeding and associated services for livestock and domestic animals.

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Beltex Sheep Society Visit Website Visit Website
Bluefaced Leicester Sheep Breeders Association Visit Website Visit Website
Charollais Sheep Society Visit Website Visit Website
Clipex Fencing

Fencing solutions

T: 03330 050115

E: [email protected]

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Hampshire Down Sheep Breeders Association Visit Website Visit Website
Performance recorded Ile de France sheep

T: 02893 366225

Shearwell Data

Animal identification systems. Excellent sheep/cattle/pig tags, comprehensive on-farm software. Full EID systems. Free eartag replacements (conditions apply). 
T: 01643 841611 
E: [email protected] 

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 Innovative provider of sheep handling solutions

T: IRE +353 (0) 4995 26327  UK +44 (0) 7900 228615

E: [email protected]

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Swaledale Sheep Breeders Association Visit Website Visit Website
Texel Sheep Society

Stand 20
Most popular terminal sire. Excellent converter of forage, vigorous lambs, robust, versatile and sought by producers farming in diverse climates. 
T: 02476 696629 
E: [email protected] 

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Texel Young Breeders

The aim of Texel Young Breeders is to ensure a long term legacy is created that supports and retains enthusiastic and dedicated young people within the Society, as well as to attract new young breeders.

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Texel Young Breeders Visit Website
Valais Blacknose Sheep Visit Website Visit Website

Information on Sponsors to follow. Please check back soon.