2013-11-06   facebooktwitterrss
Young Farmer Wins Mobile Sheep Handling System

The culmination of a nine-month membership promotion campaign has seen the National Sheep Association (NSA) present a Rappa Mobile Sheep Yard worth £6,800 to a young farmer from Usk, Wales.

Anyone who signed up as a NSA member in the first nine months of 2013 was automatically entered into the free prize draw, as well as existing NSA members who recommended a friend or neighbour who took out a subscription. Nearly 500 people were eligible for the draw, but the name that came out of the hat was 18-year-old Fraser Kerby of Usk, Monmouthshire.

Fraser Kerby trying out his new Rappa Mobile Handling System

Fraser Kerby trying out his new Rappa Mobile Handling System

Fraser joined the NSA at the Royal Welsh Show in July and benefited from the half price membership subscription available to all under 27 year olds. He joined as part of his plans to begin sheep farming in his own right, and took the vital first step in that direction very recently, purchasing 20 Suffolk cross and Texel cross ewes at auction. He is looking forward to his first crop of Charollais cross lambs next year, which he hopes to finish and sell to a local butcher in Usk.

With no immediate farming family behind him, Fraser is an ambitious new entrant in the sheep sector, owning just three acres of his own. He is currently running his sheep on a neighbour’s field in return for improving the grazing and fencing, and has also been offered another 40 acres a short distance away, so the mobile sheep handling system will be invaluable to him in the future.

“I was very excited when I heard I’d won – but I did wonder if it was a hoax call at first,” says Fraser. “The Rappa system will help me manage my flock, because I can take it to the sheep, which is a plus. Also I can move it regularly to decrease the chance of disease. I hope that in a couple of years’ time I will have more ewes and more land. I’d like to grow pedigree and commercial flocks – the commercials so I have a constant cash flow and smart pedigrees which will provide me with lots of money at pedigree sales if they meet the right specifications.”

Fraser has recently completed his BTEC Level 3 Subsidiary Diploma in Agriculture at Hartpury College, Gloucestershire, and is currently working with a 400-ewe flock at St Weonards, Herefordshire, before returning to Hartpury next year to top up to a BTEC Level 3 Diploma in Agriculture.

Phil Stocker, NSA Chief Executive, says: “I’m delighted Fraser emerged as the winner of the draw, particularly given NSA’s involvement in encouraging and supporting the next generation of sheep farmers. As a young man attending agricultural college and establishing his own flock of sheep, alongside gathering experience working on a neighbouring farm, I hope that winning the Rappa mobile handling yard will help him with his future steps on the farming ladder.”

David Pittendreigh, sheep farmer and NSA Cymru/Wales Chairman, says: “It was fantastic that the winner of the yard was a young, enthusiastic shepherd of the future. Fraser only has a small parcel of land at home, but with the offer of another 40 acres of outlying land in the vicinity on which to expand his enterprise, the Rappa yard will be a really useful piece of equipment to help him manage his flock. We wish him well with his newly purchased flock and will be happy to offer advice and direction should he need it.”

Mark Grant Goodey, Sales Director at Rappa, says: “Rappa has long been aware of the valuable work the NSA provides for its members. We were therefore pleased to donate one of our mobile sheep handling systems and especially happy that the winner of the competition turned out to be a young sheep farmer who will really benefit from the system as he continues to grow his flock. As flocks get bigger, or shepherds need to do several jobs, efficient use of time is increasingly important. The Rappa yard addresses this problem while minimising stress to the sheep.”

Mr Stocker continues: “I want to thank Rappa for so generously supporting this NSA membership promotion campaign, providing an incentive that has had a real impact for us and promoted a leading British sheep equipment manufacturer. Many NSA members will be disappointed not to have won this prize – but few would disagree that it’s gone to a very worthy winner. All NSA members, new and long standing, should watch out for fresh membership incentives at the start of 2014.”


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