2016-04-25   facebooktwitterrss

Industry Experts to Address Scotsheep Seminars

Industry experts will be giving their views on a range of topics relating to the sheep industry in a comprehensive seminar programme at Scotland’s national sheep event, NSA Scotsheep 2016, on June 1.

The one-day event, held every two years, will be held on the well-known sheep farm of Blythbank, West Linton, Peeblesshire, courtesy of the Campbell family’s Glenrath Farms Ltd, and is being organised by National Sheep Association Scotland.

Scotsheep 2014

Scotsheep 2014

NSA Scotsheep 2016 will be officially opened at 10.00am by Ross McEwan, chief executive of Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS), the major sponsors of the event, and it is hoped that Scotland’s new rural affairs cabinet secretary, whoever it is after the Scottish Parliament elections on May 5, will attend.

No fewer than 11 speakers will take part in three hour-long seminars focussing on sheep health, new opportunities for sheep farmers and profitable sheep production. The topicality of the subjects is sure to prove a real draw for the thousands of sheep farmers from throughout Scotland and the North of England expected to attend the event.

“The seminars are set to create huge interest with a tremendous line-up of speakers, all recognised experts in their particular field,” said organising committee chairman, Scott Somerville, of feed merchants, Galloway and Macleod Ltd, who is a former chairman of the rural affairs committee of the Scottish Association of Young Farmers Clubs.

The first seminar will discuss “The health status of the national sheep flock” and will be chaired by George Milne, NSA Scotland development officer. The speakers and topics will be Prof Ruth Zadoks, Moredun Research Institute (mastitis in ewes), Will Sawday, Texel Sheep Society (genomics of mastitis in ewes), Prof Elizabeth Innes, also from Moredun (toxoplasmosis and chlamydia) and Brian Hosie, head of SAC Consulting’s veterinary services (health schemes and maedi visna).

This will be followed with a session on “New opportunities and finance in sheep farming” with SAC beef and sheep consultant, Kirsten Williams (new entrant possibilities), NSA national chairman and Northern Ireland sheep farmer, Samuel Wharry (share farming), Forestry Commission Scotland’s head of forestry, Jo O’Hara (integration of trees and forestry) and RBS director of agriculture, Roddy Maclean (finance). This seminar will be chaired by Brian Murphy, RBS director of corporate and commercial banking, agriculture and renewable energy.

The final seminar will focus on “Profitable sheep production” and will be chaired by SAC beef and sheep consultant, Rhidian Jones. The panel will comprise Perthshire beef and sheep farmer and Nuffield Scholar, Neil McGowan (managing large-scale breeding programmes and the benefits of EBVs), QMS knowledge transfer specialist, Michael Blanche (grass management) and Donald Barrie, manager of the James Hutton Institute’s Glensaugh Research Farm (EID as a management tool).


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