NSA Next Generation event inspires and educates nation’s young sheep farmers

15th November 2021

The National Sheep Association (NSA) welcomed young sheep farmers from across Scotland last Friday to the first of its NSA Next Generation winter conferences this year.
The event took place in Scotland for the first time since the launch of the NSA Next Generation programme, an initiative that aims to support the future of the UK sheep industry by encouraging young sheep farmers of the future. Held at Stirling Auction, by kind permission of United Auctions, the event attracted a large audience of enthusiastic young shepherds keen to build on their own knowledge and experience.
Speakers from NSA Next Generation’s own successful Ambassador project opened the conference engaging attendees with interesting stories from their own experiences in the sector before industry experts led a series of interactive workshops covering topics from sheep vaccinations to building a successful livestock business.
Helping to bring the conferences together, NSA Communications Officer Katie James comments: “The NSA Next Generation Winter Conference has traditionally been a popular event so to bring it back after an enforced absence due to Covid19 was especially pleasing. Friday’s event was such a positive session with so much interest and passion for the Scottish and the wider UK sheep sector demonstrated.
“Thanks must go to all the industry speakers that joined us from MSD Animal Health, Scottish Craft Butchers, Moredun and QMS – The event could simply not be held without them.”
The conference also provided a well timed opportunity to launch the opening of applications for the 2022 NSA Next Generation Ambassador programme. The scheme, now in its seventh year, offers young sheep farmers aged 20-34 the opportunity to take part in a series of technical and personal development sessions aimed to further their experience and understanding of the UK sheep industry. It is now reaching out to innovative and enthusiastic young shepherds from England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland to apply for their chance to become one of 12 ambassadors and start a lifelong journey with NSA. 
Online applications are now open at www.nsanextgeneration.org.uk for those interested in being selected as an ambassador for 2022, a year that will include the biennial NSA Sheep Event, the flagship event of the organisation that successful applicants will be able to get involved with.
People interested in the programme can also learn more by attending the second of the winter conferences this Friday 19th November at Shrewsbury Auction Market, by kind permission of Halls Ltd where there will also be opportunity to take part in interactive workshops led by British Wool, Wynnstay Agriculture, Halls. AHDB and MSD Animal Health. Bookings for the event, aimed at young sheep farmers aged 16 to 35, can be made at www.nationalsheep.org.uk/next-generation/events-activities/annual-winter-workshop and will close at 10am on Thursday 18th November.