NSA Member Rewarded for Recruitment Effort
An NSA member who encouraged his workman to sign up and join the organisation has been rewarded for his recruitment efforts with a brand new Shearwell EID stick reader kit, worth £910.
Will Howells, who is part of a tight-knit family business at Abdon, South Shropshire, earned a place in a prize draw for the stick reader when his part-time workman, Josh Kirby, became a member of NSA earlier in the year.
This is the third year that NSA’s membership recruitment campaign has offered entry into a prize draw for existing members who refer a friend or neighbour, in addition to the automatic entry for a new member – but this is the first of nine prize draws that has seen an existing member win.
The stick reader kit will be put to good use, as Will and his family manage around 1,000 outdoor-lambing ewes, plus a beef enterprise, on an upland farm in the Shropshire Hills area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.
The family farming business has changed significantly in recent years, with the two main farming partners (brothers Tom and David) passing away and the next generation stepping up. The 700-acre farm (part owned and part rented) is now managed by brother and sister Will and Leece, alongside their mum Fran and Leece’s partner Martin. Leece and Martin have a two-year-old son, Jed.
Speaking on behalf of the family, Leece says: “We were chuffed to hear we had won the Shearwell reader and, since its arrival, have found it to be robust and easy to use.
“We became NSA members some years ago and have found membership very worthwhile. During the snows of March 2013 we turned to NSA for advice, as much of the televised coverage was aimed towards Wales and felt very isolated. Pressure from NSA and others on Defra meant support came for those farmers hardest hit. During this time we were fortunate to have the support of the NSA as our representatives and we are very thankful to them for that.
“Following such losses we have now altered lambing to 1st April to try to ensure most of the bad weather has hopefully passed by then. We have found this to be successful, with grass coming too and lighter nights helping outdoors. We have also been lambing some ewe lambs in order to keep our numbers up. We trialled 100 ewe lambs last spring and lambed them from 1st May onwards, the theory being that they would benefit from the warmer weather too.”
The Howells family have a clear flock health plan and good quarantining system to protect their flock, as well as a strict culling policy to ensure only the best females are bred from.