NSA Sheep 2012 supporting the next generation

22nd May 2012

The National Sheep Association is demonstrating its firm commitment to the next generation with a plethora of specific activities at NSA Sheep 2012, the industry’s biennial event staged by the National Sheep Association at the Three Counties Show Ground, Malvern on Wednesday 4 July.

The NSA Young Entrants Initiative, designed to demonstrate the exciting opportunities for skilled and motivated individuals who wish to enter the industry, will be officially launched at the event.  The venture which also seeks to improve communication and engagement between young entrants and all other aspects of the sheep sector, will feature a forum providing youngsters with the opportunity to meet with representatives from throughout the sector offering career advice and guidance.

Twenty six youngsters from throughout the UK are lined up to compete for the prestigious NSA Young Shepherd of the Year award. Sponsored by MSD Footvax and with £2,000 at stake, the award is open to college students and under 26 year olds, and features a pentathlon of practical

sheep management activities - sorting finished lambs, demonstrating handling, vaccinating and dosing techniques, shearing, putting an ATV through its paces, and responding to questions on flock management and health issues - all of which are designed to test their shepherding skills.

The winner will go forward to compete for the European Young Shepherd of the Year award sponsored by Rumenco and featuring entrants travelling to Malvern from France, Germany, Ireland, the Netherlands and Spain.

NSA is also hosting the National Federation of Young Farmers’ Clubs (NFYFC) All Terrain Vehicle (ATV) Safety and Handling final, a competition attracting 12 teams showcasing safety knowledge and ATV handling skills.

NSA Sheep 2012 organiser, Helen Davies comments: "NSA is pleased launch the Young Entrants Initiative and to support and host these competitive activities for youngsters since we are aware that one of the biggest long term challenges facing the sheep industry is succession. The reality is young people choosing to enter the shepherding profession should do so confident that they have a challenging and rewarding career ahead which will make a valuable contribution to meeting the growing global demand for food.”