Opportunity for the younger generation to demonstrate their skills at NSA ScotSheep 2016

26th February 2016

Keen and enthusiastic youngsters with an interest in sheep will have the opportunity to compete and demonstrate their skills in the Young Shepherd of the Year competition at NSA ScotSheep this year, Wednesday 1st June at Blythbank Farm, West Linton Peeblesshire, EH46 7DF.

The competition is open to those who have left school and are aged 26 or under, and entrants from all manner of backgrounds including working shepherds, farm workers, students or simply have an interest in sheep are welcome. First prize winners will not only be taking home the NSA ScotSheep Trophy but also a £300 cash prize, while £200 is also up for grabs for second place and both finalists will gain the opportunity to represent Scotland in the combined national and European finals at the NSA Sheep Event 2016, on Wednesday 27th July at the Three Counties Showground, Worcestershire.

Competition organiser Wallace Boyd says: “Youngsters who have completed before and first-time competitors are equally welcome, there are no restrictions on how many times you can compete, other than age.”

NSA Scottish Region Development Officer George Milne, adds: “The Young Shepherd of the Year competition offers a real incentive to encourage the next generation of sheep farmers and shepherds to equip themselves with the range of skills required for a career in the industry.

“The competition is designed to test participants’ practical skills and practical knowledge used in every-day work with sheep, as well as their broader knowledge of the sheep industry throughout the UK and Europe, including the various breeds of sheep. There will also be two general question papers on sheep production and husbandry and the identification of sheep breeds.”

All competitors will be expected to carry out a number of practical tasks, including foot care techniques, handling, vaccination, dosing, sheep shearing, wool handling, prime lamb selection and demonstrate the safe use of an ATV with trailer transporting stock.

The competition will be one of the highlights of NSA Scotsheep 2016, Scotland’s biennial national sheep event, which this year will be hosted by the Campbell family’s Glenrath Farms Ltd on Wednesday 1st June.

The event is organised by NSA Scottish Region, with Royal Bank of Scotland as major sponsor. The huge range of attractions on the day will include a farm tour, taking in the farm’s flocks of 2000 Scotch Mule ewes, 500 replacement hoggs, 700 Blackface ewes and a 40-ewe pedigree Texel flock as well as a suckler herd of 200 Limousin cows, a 10-cow pedigree Charolais herd and a flock of 320,000 free-range hens.

The comprehensive day-long programme will also include an extensive sheep breeds’ area, 200 trade stands, sale of breeding hoggs, stockjudging, sheep dog trial, seminars, farmers’ market, craft fair and practical demonstrations of sheep shearing, butchery, carcase grading, crook making sheep dressing, wool spinning and fencing.

Further information and entry forms for the Young Shepherd of the Year competition can be obtained from Euan Emslie, Organiser, NSA ScotSheep 2016, 3 Briar Close, Newport, Brough, East Yorkshire, HU15 2QY. Tel: 01430 441870, Mob: 07718 908523, E-mail: [email protected]