The National Sheep Association’s Northern Region is reflecting its firm commitment towards encouraging all students and youngsters involved in practical sheep management activities by staging the first ever NSA North Sheep Young Shepherd of the Year award at NSA North Sheep 2009, the industry’s biennial event staged at Laund Farm, Chipping, Preston on Wednesday 3 June.
The award which is open to college students, YFC members and young people up to 26 years old based in Cumbria, Durham, Lancashire, Northumberland and Yorkshire, is designed to test their shepherding skills in a pentathlon of activities. Each entrant will be required to sort finished lambs for slaughter, judge breeding sheep, demonstrate handling, vaccinating and dosing techniques and shearing skills. They will also be questioned on flock management and health issues.
The Carrs Billington Agriculture sponsored award has £300 at stake for the winner who will also receive the Ali Johnson Perpetual Trophy, presented by Kenneth and Sheila Johnson in memory of their son, a former NSA Northern Region and event committee member. The winner will also represent the NSA Northern Region in the NSA Shepherd of the Year finals to be staged at NSA Sheep 2010, at Malvern.
“NSA Northern Region is pleased to launch this new initiative,” explains event chairman, John Geldard. “While we are acutely aware of the sector’s difficulties during the last decade, we firmly believe the scenario is fast changing and holds a bright future for young people who will be required to produce food for our fast expanding global population. Consequently, it’s one of our biggest long term challenges to encourage these youngsters, ensure they have the necessary skills and give recognition to those skills, once they have become honed.”
Further information on the NSA North Sheep Shepherd of the Year Award can be obtained from NSA North Sheep 2009 organiser, Julie Sedgewick on 01388 664496. To down load an application form see www.northsheep.org.uk
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