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Youngsters lead the way at NSA Central Region Winter Fair

The NSA Central Region Winter Fair, held at Bakewell Agricultural Centre yesterday (24th January), proved to be a big success despite the wintery weather conditions not being in the event’s favour.

NSA Central Region, led by Regional Chairman and Secretary Bob and Anne Payne, first held a Winter Fair in 2011 and were delighted to repeat the event in such a positive way in 2013, putting on an excellent array of demonstrations and competitions for sheep producers in the area.

charollais sheep

photo © Jennifer MacKenzie

Organiser Helen Davies said: “Despite the adverse weather conditions people turned out in force to support the event. This shows the determination of people and the interest in attending these specialist one day events.”

The event was a particular success in terms of championing and encouraging the young shepherds and sheep producers in the region. A range of competitions were co-ordinated specifically for youngsters, including an Inter-Schools Junior Shepherds Competition and Schools Wool Challenge, in addition to the usual NSA Young Shepherds Competition.

Triumphant in the Young Shepherds Completion was Ellen Helliwell, who really proved her ability by also being the highest placed competitor under 21 years of age. Ellen (19) lives with parents Robert and Sarah and sister Alice at Upper Booth Farm, Edale, Derbyshire, which is a LEAF farm. She is in her final year of an Extended National Diploma in Agriculture at Reaseheath College, Cheshire, and would like to find a job in agriculture after spending some time in Australia or New Zealand to further develop her shepherding skills.

Joint second in the Young Shepherds competitions went to Richard Drewery of Penistone, South Yorks, a contract shepherd and shearer, and Alex Birch, who works on the family farm at Baslow, Derbyshire.

Displaying superb creative skills with wool, the team from Newbold Community School (Chesterfield, Derbyshire) won the Schools Wool Challenge, while a team from Queen Elizabeth Grammar School (Ashbourne, Derbyshire) were first in the Inter-Schools Junior Shepherds Competition.

The Junior Shepherd competition was organised by Dales Agricultural and Rural Training (DART) for students studying for a Level One Diploma in Agriculture with them. Competitors worked in teams to demonstrate practical skills and knowledge of shepherding and the sheep industry. Ann Litchfield of (DART) said: “In the Inter-Schools competition the group that won were outstanding and dropped only two points, gaining 144 points out of a possible 146 and demonstrating fantastic handling skills and knowledge.”

John Geldard, NSA Chairman, said: “Having so many competitions at the event meant young people got to spend the whole day with us, gaining experience for themselves but also adding a tremendous amount to the event as a whole. There was a great atmosphere and a real buzz about the place. It was a great way to start 2013.”

Competition Results

Young Shepherds Competition
(sponsored by Mole Country Stores)
1st    Ellen Helliwell     
Joint 2nd Richard Drewery and Alex Birch
4th    Oliver Bagley
5th    Jack Garner
6th   Andrew Cooper
Highest Placed under 21st Ellen Helliwell

DART Inter-schools Junior Shepherd Competition
(sponsored by local supporters)
1st    Queen Elizabeth Grammer School, Ashbourne (team 2)
2nd   Queen Elizabeth Grammer School, Ashbourne (team 3)
3rd    Anthony Gell, Wirksworth

Schools Wool Challenge
(sponsored by British Wool Marketing Board)
1st   Newbold Community School
2nd   Lady Manners School (team 1)
3rd   Pennistone Embroidery Club
4th   Hope Valley College
5th   Lady Manners School (team 2)

Best Outdoor Trade Stand
 1st G D Troth      2nd Batemans Ltd      3rd Rappa Fencing Ltd

Best Sheep Breed Stand
1st Texel      2nd Lleyn         3rd Whitefaced Woodland

Best Indoor Trade Stand
1st EBLEX      2nd CCM Auctions Skipton   3rd Shearwell Data Ltd

National Sheep Association

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link NSA North Sheep Appoints Heather Stoney as New Assistant Organiser
link UK Dairy Expo - The John Dennison Achievement Award

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