The National Sheep Association is reflecting its firm commitment towards encouraging all students and youngsters involved in practical sheep management activities by staging the NSA Young Shepherd of the Year Award at NSA Sheep 2008, the industry’s biennial event staged by the National Sheep Association at the Three Counties Show Ground, Malvern on Wednesday 30 July.
The Heptavac P Plus sponsored award with £2,000 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,” comments association chief executive, Peter Morris. "NSA is pleased to host and 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. We are also grateful to our sponsors Heptavac P Plus for their recognition of the importance of young people to the sheep industry
“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 2008 competitions organiser, Helen Davies on 01938 590535 or 07976 803066.
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