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Stackyard News May 06

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NSA Young Shepherd of the Year launched with £3,000 at stake

The National Sheep Association is reflecting its firm commitment towards encouraging all students and youngsters involved in practical sheep management activities by staging the first ever NSA Young Shepherd of the Year Award at NSA Sheep 2006, the industry’s biennial event staged by the National Sheep Association at the Three Counties Show Ground, Malvern on Wednesday 2 August.

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The Heptavac P Plus sponsored award with £3,000 at stake, is open to college students, YFC members and young people up to 26 years old, and is designed to test their shepherding skills in a pentathlon of activities. Each entrant will be required to sort finished lambs for slaughter, demonstrate handling, vaccinating and dosing techniques, erect an electric fence, and put an ATV through its paces. They will also be questioned on flock management and health issues.

“Helping to equip tomorrow’s sheep keepers with the skills they need and giving recognition once those skills have become honed is a must for any forward thinking industry association such as NSA,” says the association’s chief executive, Peter Morris. "NSA is pleased to support the pentathlon event since we are acutely aware that the biggest long term challenge facing the sheep industry is to encourage young people to be involved.

“It is important to emphasise that anyone choosing to enter the shepherding profession should do so knowing that the many skills they possess can lead to them earning a decent living and enjoying a good quality of life,” he says. “Whilst times are never easy for sheep keepers those with the best range of skills and an eye for business are most likely to succeed. Competitions such as this are a good incentive to encourage the next generation of shepherds to try and better themselves and look forward to working in a profitable and sustainable industry.”

Further information on the NSA Shepherd of the Year Award can be obtained from NSA Sheep 2006 organiser, Julie Sedgewick on 01388 664496.

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link Scotsheep 2006 Seminar Programme

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