NSA offers funding to aid young shepherds’ journey into latest thinking on sheep genetics

17th September 2019

The National Sheep Association (NSA) is today opening applications for next generation sheep farmers to apply to join other representatives from the sheep industry at the biennial Sheep Breeders Round Table (SBRT) that will take place in November.

The cross-industry organised three-day conference is a technical event attracting sheep farmers, breeders, researchers and vets from across the UK and beyond, and NSA is once again pleased to be involved as part of the steering group for the important event.

To further show its support for the future of the industry, the NSA Next Generation project is this year offering to fund one enthusiastic young sheep farmer to attend the conference, expanding their knowledge and appetite for the latest thinking on sheep genetics. NSA Communications Office Katie James comments: “Attendance at SBRT can provide young farmers who have an interest in developing their sheep flock or career as a shepherd with the perfect opportunity to hear from some of the country’s leading experts on a range of research topics. It is also an excellent networking event with chance to speak informally with some well-known names from the world of sheep breeding research and fellow pedigree enthusiasts.”

The funded place offered by NSA Next Generation will include the full three days of the conference as well as accommodation and meals. Mrs James continues: “This event is well suited to young sheep breeders with a keen interest in pedigree breeding and research to move the industry forward. We look forward to receiving applications from sheep farmers aged 18 to 35 who believe attendance at the conference could truly benefit them at this time.”

Young sheep farmers who would like to apply for the funded place should visit the NSA Next Generation website here.

Applications close for this opportunity on Monday 30th September.

The conference programme has been extended for 2019 with the Friday morning slot sponsored by iSAGE (Innovation for Sustainable Sheep and Goat Production in Europe) concentrating on developing resilience in the UK sheep industry, a project that NSA has had much involvement with through NSA Livestock Researcher Nicola Noble. Nicola will join the conference on Friday 15th November when the conference begins at The Raddison Blu Hotel, Pegasus Business Park, East Midlands Airport, DE74 2TZ. NSA Communications Office Katie James will also join the conference on Saturday to take part in the informal workshop sessions speaking about the role of social media in promoting sheep businesses.

Following the new Friday morning session, audiences will be updated by levy boards on major projects including RamCompare, the National Terminal Sire Evaluation and the Welsh Hill Ram Scheme. The international session will focus on the Netherlands, with guest speaker Reinard Everts flying in to educate attendees on what Dutch sheep breeders are selecting for and how they do it.

Other notable speakers include Kate Phillips, Sean Fair and Nicola Lambe focusing on ewe efficiency, with keynote speaker Nick Friggens exploring precision agriculture and the genomic revolution. Delegates will also have the opportunity to choose from a selection of workshops focused on building the skills of our sheep industry.