2024 Ambassador Group
Meet our new recruits to the NSA Next Generation Ambassador programme
Emily Jones (25) Ceredigion
The ambassador interview panel were bowled over by Emily’s enthusiasm for the programme and the future of the sheep sector during the selection interviews.
Emily currently splits her time between her job as an account handler for the Farmers Union of Wales and work on family’s sheep and beef hill farm in West Wales. In addition, she fills her busy schedule with volunteering work for the mental wellbeing charity, the DPJ Foundation, sits on several livestock breed society committees and is a qualified Registered Animal Medicines Advisor (RAMA).
It was clear however that Emily was determined to make time for the NSA Next Generation Ambassador programme and is looking forward to implementing ideas and experience gained from it back with her pedigree flocks that includes North Country Cheviot, Charmoise Hill and Dorset Down ewes as well as her family’s commercial enterprise of Easycare and Welsh Mountain ewes.
Sean Jeffreys (26) Carmarthenshire
As one of the new entrants to farming joining the programme this year Sean impressed the panel with his achievements in the sector so far. Having previously worked in industry as part of the Red Meat Development programme with Welsh levy board HCC Sean is now a partner in a share farm agreement running 600 Llandovery White Face hill ewes and a further 200 ewe lambs. He also rears calved on contract destined to produce Wagyu beef.
Sean has already completed several development schemes but was passionate to join the NSA programme as he believes it will assist him with his sheep farming knowledge and experience that no other similar scheme can. He says: “Becoming an NSA Next Generation Ambassador is great opportunity. I believe it will nurture, inspire and encourage us as a group of young sheep farmers creating leaders who will step up and take the reins in the future.”
Kathryn Dick (25) Stirlingshire
Meeting people and sharing information and experiences was a key driver for Kathryn when applying to join the ambassador programme this year. Her current job as Promotions and Communications Office for the Lleyn Sheep Society and past experience working as a business reporter for Scottish Farmer has already raised her awareness of the value of this. “Meeting a multitude of people you get a sense of what mindset is required in order to make a positive change to your business and the sector as a whole,” she comments.
As well as the chance to network Kathryn is looking forward to gaining useful advice to help further her small flock of Blue Texel and Charollais sheep that she plans to begin performance recording this year with the aim of being recognised for producing naturally reared tups that have good longevity and are able to thrive in both commercial and pedigree settings.
Emma Clapp (30) Edinburgh
Emma has the Covid pandemic to thank for her changing career path to begin farming. She had always had an interest in agriculture but says: “When the pandemic hit I was in a job that I was unhappy with, I knew I needed to make a change and so got in touch with a local farmer with whom I volunteered and learnt new skills.” Emma has clearly not looked back since. Fast forward four years and Emma is now working as Head Shepherd on a 400 acre Scottish estate managing 1200 Lleyn cross ewes plus replacements. An achievement that greatly impressed the interview panel.
Emma hopes becoming an NSA Next Generation Ambassador programme will be the start of a long relationship with NSA and is looking forward to continuing her learning and development of her career.
William Egerton (31) County Fermanagh
Growing up on a progressive sheep and beef farm in Northern Ireland William has always been open to new ideas and technologies and it was clear during the ambassador interview process the enthusiasm for the latest advances was a passion of his. Despite much exposure to this William enjoys learning and is looking to build on his knowledge and experience gained on the programme. He comments: “Many farms are not familiar with the technology available to them and how it could help their farms reach their full potential. I hope I can share my experience as well as learn more about this with my fellow ambassadors and others I meet during the programme.”
As well as his family farm experience running 250 ewes, a suckler herd and finishing beef cattle William has also spent time in Scotland working on larger enterprises and enjoyed the opportunity to view different systems. He now is looking forward to visiting the range of farms explored as part of the ambassador delivery sessions.
Llewellyn Rosser (22) Gloucestershire
Contract shepherding and running his own flock of 350 ewes on rented ground, new entrant Llewellyn has overcome some of the challenges faced by many young farmers to acquire land to be able to progress their businesses. Building up his flock from scratch with no support payments has made Llewellyn is now conscious to produce lambs efficiently setting him up, he hopes, to be able to grow numbers in the future.
Llewellyn is looking forward to meeting like minded people during the programme and believes the chance to get off farm both to learn and network will help him with his own confidence as well as his business. He is also keen to become involved with NSA longer term, he says: “I believe the programme will help me massively and so I am looking forward to getting involved in my NSA region giving back for what I’m about to gain.”
Ailish Ross (29) West Midlands
Ailish may be a an already familiar face to many as her job with the Texel Sheep Society regularly takes her across the UK to sales and shows meeting NSA members. This role has given Ailish fantastic opportunity to travel and network but she admits her knowledge and experience of the wider sector is something she would like build on and she hopes the programme will help her to achieve this.
Although her day job keeps her away from practical farming Ailish enjoys spending weekends shepherding alongside her partner in South Wales running a flock of 1200 Lleyn ewes. She says: “I am happiest working outside with sheep. I do not come from a farming background but have worked hard over the past 10 years to gain experience and I hope to soon be in a position to start my own small flock, the ambassador programme will put me in an even better position to do so.”
Megan Price (20) Hampshire
At just 20, Megan impressed the interview panel with her ability to juggle work and education as she completed her third year of university at Sparsholt studying agriculture. Throughout her studies Megan has strived to gain as much shepherding experience as possible as she works towards her dream of being a shepherding her own flock securing a tenancy, or as a Head Shepherd for a sizable flock. At the heart of this will be the very best welfare as Megan expressed a passion for this during her interview. She says: “There is still work to do on public perception of agriculture, and providing animals with the highest standards of welfare at all times is key to this.”
Richard Oglesby (31) Northumberland
Richard has made impressive progress in the industry from his initial entry to sheep farming as a teenager with just a handful of sheep. Now, alongside his wife he runs 1440 mostly Lleyn ewes plus 800 ewe lambs on land as part of a contract farming agreement.
Richard’s passion for the industry was clear to see during his ambassador interview as he explained his involvement with several projects that can help further progress within his own flock and the wider UK sheep sector.
He comments: “I very much enjoy being part of industry peer groups, they give me chance to continue my learning of the industry from a range of enterprises, something I am passionate about, whilst also sharing our experiences to hopefully assist others.”
Richard is already a member of the NSA Northern Region committee so will be well placed to share the benefits of this level of involvement with NSA to the group this year.
Jack Fletcher (19) Norfolk
Jack may be the youngest member of the ambassador group this year but the interview panel were positive his already impressive experience of the sheep industry, both at home and in New Zealand would be of value to the group as a whole.
Growing up on a family sheep farm has given Jack a great skill set on which to build on. His ambition is clear with the aim of growing his own sheep flock as well building on his already successful shearing business to offer dipping and scanning in the future.
Jack comments: “I’m looking forward to becoming an NSA Next Generation Ambassador. It is important to take time away from the farm sometimes and if I can do this whilst achieving personal and career development with like minded people, mountains can be moved!”
William Roobottom (27) Staffordshire
Social media enthusiast William is looking forward to sharing his experiences from the NSA Next Generation Ambassador programme this year with his followers on his popular YouTube channel and Instagram accounts. Currently running 300 Lleyn ewes, William has built his flock up over the past 10 years introducing livestock for the first time on his family’s farm specialising in production of forage for the equine market. William now aims to increase sheep numbers to continue to compliment this as well as focussing on traits within his flock required to produce a more efficient ewe.
Having been an NSA member for several years William has already enjoyed much that the Association offers members but is now looking forward to getting more involved. He says: “I see it as a great honour to be selected as an NSA Next Generation Ambassador being able to learn and develop whilst representing the great UK sheep sector so will do as much as I can to get involved.”
George Fussey (28) Lincolnshire
A willingness to gain more knowledge and expertise about the UK sheep sector led to George to apply for the ambassador scheme this year. “I’m a big believer in sharing knowledge, not just of sheep farming but of regenerative agriculture in general, an area of interest for me. I feel becoming an NSA Next Generation Ambassador is the perfect place to continue with this career and personal development,” George explains.
After completing his agricultural degree at Harper Adams, George travelled, working on farms in Australia, New Zealand and Norway. On returning home to his family farm he was happy to use some of this experience and take on responsibility for the expanding sheep enterprise. The flock currently comprises of 400 Aberfield cross ewes run on herbal leys as part of the wider enterprise’s arable rotations.