NSA Sheep Event seminars set to stimulate valuable discussion

8th March 2022

Visitors to NSA Sheep Event 2022 this summer will have the opportunity of joining lively and thought-provoking discussion at the event’s popular seminar pavilion.

Taking place throughout the day the event seminars will all look at what lies ahead for the country’s sheep farmers and their flocks, in keeping with the event theme, UK sheep farming: A positive future. The National Sheep Association (NSA) is looking forward to welcoming an impressive line up of industry experts and farmers from across the UK to the event on Wednesday 27th July at the Three Counties Showground, Worcestershire, to debate topics that have direct influence on the future success of the sector.

NSA Chief Executive Phil Stocker will be taking part in several of the day’s seminars. He comments: “NSA is proud to attract some of the top names from within British agriculture to our national event. With the biennial event this year taking place for the first time in four years due to covid-19, we are confident the seminar lineup will ensure there is standing room only for visitors to join us to listen and take part in some lively, insightful and helpful discussion.”

The seminar programme will begin by asking ‘Where is the balance between our diverse market opportunities?’ in the first session. The UK sheep sector is fortunate in its range of varied outlets for sheep meat – but where should we focus our future efforts? Volume sales of a commodity product, or added value markets? And what can be done at farm level to provide what people want? This seminar will tackle these big questions and help individual businesses plan for the future.

Following on, the second session will look at future land use and whether carbon sequestration in sheep grazed grassland can achieve as much as suggested alternatives such as mass forestry. The seminar, titled ‘Is grassland our salvation for carbon capture and nature recovery?’ will question what the UK will look like if policymakers pursue tree planting targets and rewilding ambitions? Will there be space for sheep and, if not, what are the implications for climate change, nature recovery and rural communities? This seminar will consider sheep and grassland in the positive light they deserve.

The third seminar of the day will focus on the value of the sheep farmer. It is time for sheep farmers - the people who work tirelessly to produce quality food, care for the environment and underpin rural communities  - to stand up and be counted. NSA believes sheep farming is a career to be proud of, and often the crucial first step into farming for young people and new entrants. The seminar, 'Sheep farmers - A force for social good', will consider what it will take to gain much-needed recognition for the incredible wealth of public goods provided by sheep farmers and their livestock.

Bringing a busy day of discussion to an end, the final seminar  ' Implementing radical change to meet future sheep farming challenges’, will welcome speakers with strong views about constructive disruption to flock management. Giving attendees ‘food for thought’ it will challenge the audience on whether slow evolution in our sector is enough, or if a radical shake-up is needed change to meet challenges around climate change, food security and animal welfare.

Mr Stocker continues: “We would encourage all attending NSA Sheep Event this year to look in on the seminar tent. All involved within the UK sheep sector can take something away from it to stimulate further discussion on their journey home and into the future. There really is so much thought-provoking information to debate!”

In addition to seminars, NSA Sheep Event 2022 will provide a platform for more than 250 trade and breed society exhibitors as well as numerous attractions including a sheepdog sale, competitions, workshops and demonstrations with the very latest information available throughout the day.

Event organiser Helen Roberts concludes: “NSA Sheep Event is a must-visit for anyone involved in the sheep industry, with NSA members eligible to get into event completely free of charge. After such a long wait for its return we’re looking forward to presenting another event to remember.”

NSA members can enter NSA Sheep 2022 free of charge. Individuals can find out more about NSA membership online and sign up to claim their free entry to the event this year. Tickets will also soon be available to purchase ahead of the event from the NSA website www.nationalsheep.org.uk.