In June we asked our 2018 ambassadors......

What did you learn from the second NSA Next Generation Ambassador session?

Kirree Kermode

There were so many interesting parts during the 2nd delivery session , I was really impressed by Marc and his grass based system for both cattle and sheep. His honesty in what worked and what didn’t work by sharing his own costings for different  systems showed there isn’t a right or wrong way to get your results so long as you really focus on your farm ,what it can carry and produce to its maximum yield most of the time was quite reassuring we can all reach the same goal but in different ways , I found his costings session really interesting and tips to really improve our businesses.

Kirree Kermode
Isle of Man

Joe Emmett

I learnt that it is important to intensify your stocking rates where you can .

Joe Emmett
Norfolk

David McMullan

I learned that grass management is key to driving profitability. Public perception of farming through social media is a massive thing these days and there are people who are doing all they can to help put farming on the good side of the fence.

David McMullan
County Antrim

Richard Rossiter

More on worming and about resistance and how long immunity against worms takes to develop. 

Richard Rossiter
Devon

Oliver Brayne

The main thing I took from the second session is that if you want something doing, get out there and do something about it yourself, whether that be a podcast or promoting British lamb. We met and spoke to some inspiring people.

Oliver Brayne
Derbyshire

Lauren Bird

I really enjoyed spending a bit of time with Will Evans and learning about how he is promoting agriculture and the various topical issues affecting the industry with his podcast “Rock & Roll Farming”. 

Lauren Bird
Oxfordshire

Thomas Chapman

I learnt a lot from the second NSA session including a lot about worming issues and how we can start to combat them as well as how grass rotations can help improve worm burdens in conjunction with improving grass yields and therefore profits.

Thomas Chapman
Staffordshire

Catherine Sanderson

I learnt that love lamb week is on the 1st-7th of September and that ewes usually only need worming once a year at lambing time.

Catherine Sanderson
North Yorkshire

Sion Morgan

I learnt a lot at this session about parasite control. Lesley Stubbings was great at explaining and simplifying the worm life cycle in sheep and the build-up of worm resistant by using incorrect drench and incorrect timing to drench. 

Sion Morgan
Scottish Borders

If a bus of NSA members turned up to view your flock today, what would you take them to see (and what would you try and hide)?!

Kirree Kermode

I would show them around all my flocks of sheep and wouldn’t hide anything but look to them for ways to improve take ideas and suggestions to help reach certain targets I was aiming for. I think knowledge transfer and listening to other methods can really help sheep farmers especially younger ones!!

Kirree Kermode
Isle of Man

Joe Emmett

I would probably take them to see a typical Breckland scene?! To show how harsher an environment it can be, with grass burnt off in 2-3 days. But show it is an interesting place to live/work. I would try to hide my crops of thistles!

Joe Emmett
Norfolk

David McMullan

I would take them to see the lambs that i am currently drawing from weekly and selling live and receiving over £100 a head for with no concentrate feeding at all. I would hide the dozen or so pet lambs that were reared on the milk machine as some of those look awful.

David McMullan
County Antrim

Richard Rossiter

I would take them to see everything that we have on the farm as I’m proud of what we do here at home but I wouldn’t show them the Dorpers as I’m not happy with them and wouldn’t want to show them off. 

Richard Rossiter
Devon

Oliver Brayne

I'd proudly show visitors my flock of Easy care ewes to demonstrate how good their feet are and that there isn't wool all over the fields when they shed!

Oliver Brayne
Derbyshire

Lauren Bird

Well I’m about to start my new job so yet to find out if there’s any problems to hide, but I think we all want to hide lame sheep - having been contracting down south this last few months it’s definitely been on the forefront of everyone’s minds down there.

Lauren Bird
Oxfordshire

Thomas Chapman

If a bus turned up full of NSA members I would want to show of my ewe lambs as with my breeding programme they are getting better every year. I would probably try and hide all the thistles that have popped up this year but that might be a hard task.

Thomas Chapman
Staffordshire

Catherine Sanderson

I'd probably take them to see the species rich grass on our steep banksides which are full of really interesting grasses such as quaking grass. It's also just happens to be the field where the best texel lambs are...

Catherine Sanderson
North Yorkshire

Sion Morgan

I would take them to see the lambs that we have had this year. We were very fortunate with the weather and have a great crop that are growing well. I would stay away from the thistle fields. 

Sion Morgan
Scottish Borders

The Government is currently exploring animal welfare in transport / live exports, due to pressure from the anti-farming lobby to ban live exports. What would you like to say to Michael Gove and his civil servants on this topic?

Kirree Kermode

Being an islander live export is an essential part of our farming life, it keeps trade fair on island knowing that if they don’t achieve a satisfactory price the farmers  are not held to ransom ,it  gives  opportunity for pedigree livestock to be added to the global gene pool and on the flip side importation of new genetics & seed stock is essential to breeding quality this all bringing in new money to the islands economy. As far as animal welfare goes, done professionally and correctly with 5 star standard transporters there is no harm done to livestock and it’s in the farmers best interest to get his livestock to its destination in the best possible condition so why would any one cut corners is beyond me!!

Kirree Kermode
Isle of Man

Joe Emmett

I'd say that you're right to explore it, because you'll find that livestock transport can be a very easy stress free process for the animal and stockman if done right. Unfortunately there will be cases where animals are stressed and uncomfortable but it should be the governments job as well as our job to minimise this. 

Joe Emmett
Norfolk

David McMullan

In Northern Ireland it would absolutely cripple the lamb trade if they banned live export as a large percentage of NI lamb finishes up in the south. Michael gove should be made aware of this!! We are on the very north coast and it takes less time to go to the border than some farmers have in bigger countries to get to the “local” market/abattoir.

David McMullan
County Antrim

Richard Rossiter

I would say that the animals travel in luxury when travelling with the spec of the lorries today having climate control and drinkers and plenty of space compared to how people are crammed on trains and the London tubes not being able to move.

Richard Rossiter
Devon

Oliver Brayne

In my experience the treatment of farm animals during transport is similar to how they are treated on the whole, the vast majority are very well cared for but the stockmen/hauliers who let the side down need to be clamped down on.

Oliver Brayne
Derbyshire

Lauren Bird

To engage in consultations with those on the ground who are actually going to be affected by this (ie farmers, import/export agents, the vets who manage the system etc) and who understand the system because it’s there day job, not just what they’ve learnt from a university degree. 

Lauren Bird
Oxfordshire

Thomas Chapman

With the live export debate I would try to explain how the animals are cared for the short time they are in transport and that we are the best in the world for long transport.

Thomas Chapman
Staffordshire

Catherine Sanderson

I think it will be really interesting to see what they come up with. I rear my animals to the best welfare standards I can and I wouldn't want them to suffer after I sell them. If they could create some kind of assurance that after export the animals would be humanely slaughtered then that would be reassuring.

Catherine Sanderson
North Yorkshire

What is your favourite sheep farming task and your worst task?

Kirree Kermode

Lambing time has to be the best time in sheep production, new life never gets old and knowing that a ewe was struggling and you helped her with a good out come is biggest sense of pride and in most cases relief too! The worst part  is selling sheep you’ve hand reared whether it be show stock or pet lambs you always want the best homes for them , I think my girlie side comes out quite a bit at sale time!

Kirree Kermode
Isle of Man

David McMullan

I love lambing, bringing new life onto the farm is great and the feeling of seeing a ewe with two lambs at foot with the sun on their backs can give me great satisfaction!! Worst job is dealing with blowfly strike, early spells of warm weather have caught a lot of people out this year and my heart sinks when I spot a maggoted lamb in the field!

 

David McMullan
County Antrim

Richard Rossiter

My favourite task is lambing because seeing what comes out of the pedigree rams that have been used for the different breeds and seeing the potential ram lambs to sell in the future and seeing ewe lamb replacements.  Worst task I don’t really have one.

Richard Rossiter
Devon

Oliver Brayne

My favourite task is weighing lambs at weaning, it's always interesting to see how different ewes have performed.

Oliver Brayne
Derbyshire

Lauren Bird

Weirdly I love Dagging/Crutching dirty bums; nothing better than watching them walk away with a clean bum, I’m sure they appreciate it. The worst job is pulling rotten lambs! Can’t get rid of the smell for a few days! 

Lauren Bird
Oxfordshire

Thomas Chapman

My favourite sheep task would probably be shearing although its also the hardest on the body its probably the most rewarding. However my least favourite job is dagging sheep I can’t say I’m a fan of the poo coloured nail polish.

Thomas Chapman
Staffordshire

Catherine Sanderson

Favourite task is lambing sheep with dystocia - it's so satisfying when you save the lives of the ewe and lamb/s. Worst task is dealing with mawked ewes. I hate the amount of damage they can do to a healthy sheep in such a short amount of time. (Watching the maggots wriggle out and die is satisfying though).

Catherine Sanderson
North Yorkshire

Sion Morgan

My favourite task would have to be gathering the hill. Lots of work for the dogs that pushes their boundaries to make them better. My worst would have to be winter feeding as it’s pretty cold and lots of snow up here. 

Sion Morgan
Scottish Borders

Joe Emmett

I quite enjoy any dog work especially moving large numbers of sheep about. I don't enjoy bolusing small lambs, way too fiddly and I'm a bit short on patience. 

Joe Emmett
Norfolk

The average attendance for a FIFA World Cup game is more than 53,000 fans! You’ve got 10 minutes during the half time break for a sheep farming demonstration. What would you show off and why?

Joe Emmett

Working a sheep dog. Because lots of people always like to watch a dog round up sheep.

Joe Emmett
Norfolk

Oliver Brayne

This would have to be a sheep dog demonstration, I always find these a really good way of helping gain respect from the public. People love to see the skill, the patience and the intelligent relationship between dog and handler.

Oliver Brayne
Derbyshire

Lauren Bird

The magic of going round the sheep, with your dogs on the quad perhaps at first light or in the evening. Also like to talk to the general public about agriculture and what we face in our industry. 

Lauren Bird
Oxfordshire

Thomas Chapman

If I was to do a half time show at the world cup, i would have to try and set up a unique sheepdog trail course to really show off the skills of our talented best friends.

Thomas Chapman
Staffordshire

Catherine Sanderson

I’d cook a quick and simple lamb recipe to encourage more people to try eating lamb.

Catherine Sanderson
North Yorkshire

Sion Morgan

I would definitely get the dogs on the pitch and do a demonstration. 

Sion Morgan
Scottish Borders