After a year’s break from the livestock showing calendar, NSA Sheep, NSA Scotsheep and NSA South Sheep are back with a bang for 2012. Gemma Mackenzie finds out what’s on offer.
NSA Sheep 2012
The NSA’s flagship Sheep Event returns to the Three Counties Showground on 4 July, with organisers hoping to build on the success of the 2010 event, which drew in more than 9,000 visitors and 300 exhibitors.
Organiser Helen Davies says: “Our seminars, which are designed to inform, challenge and inspire, will include topics on exploring current marketplace opportunities, farming beyond the next CAP reform, and the potential benefits of a new national database.
“We will also be encouraging the next generation of sheep farmers with a number of activities including the NSA Young Shepherd of the Year award, this time incorporating the qualifier for the European final, and we will be hosting the National Federation of Young Farmers’ Club’s ATV competitions.”
• When: Wednesday 4 July
• Where: Three Counties Showground, Malvern, Worcs, WR13 6NW
• Tickets: On the gate – adults £15, NSA members £6. Tickets booked online include block booking discount – £6 for bookings of eight or more tickets. Agriculture students and children under 16 get in for free. International visitors get in for free on production of a passport. Free parking at the event.
• What’s on: More than 300 exhibitors, including 50 sheep breed societies and associations; seminars; working demonstrations, NSA Young Shepherd of the Year award and YFC competitions; sheep dog sale and clinic; carcass competitions; Ready Steady Cook.
For more on this topic
Follow the NSA Sheep Event on our Sheep 2012 page
The association’s Scottish region’s flagship event, NSA Scotsheep, will take place on 6 June at the Morrisons Farm at Dumfries House in Cumnock, Ayrshire.
Dumfries House is an 18th century stately home, which was bought in 2007, alongside the adjoining farmland, by a consortium of charities headed up by Prince Charles. The farm is run in partnership with supermarket group Morrisons.
Since then, £2m has been committed to the enterprise, which comprises 750 Scotch Mule ewes, a small flock of pedigree Suffolk sheep and 210 suckler cows, including pedigree Beef Shorthorn cattle and a commercial Aberdeen Angus herd.
The farm is one of three farms currently carrying out trials for Quality Meat Scotland, comparing the progeny of high-performance rams with rams selected solely on visual appraisal.
• When: Wednesday 6 June
• Where: Morrisons Farm, Dumfries House, Cumnock, Ayrshire
• Tickets: £12 for adults, £6 for NSA members, free for under 16s and agriculture students. All are available to buy on the day
• What’s on: Trade stands, sheep breed displays, sheep dog trials, Scottish Young Shepherd of the Year qualifier, ATV competition and stock judging.
The NSA South East Committee have confirmed that NSA South Sheep 2012 will take place on 13 June at Nugent Farms, Iveagh Farm, Upper Lambourn, Berkshire.
The 916ha unit is managed by David Barratt, and comprises 600 Lambourn ewes, shepherded by Ewan Kershaw. The farm is in an HLS/ELS scheme and measures have been taken to reduce fertiliser inputs and stocking rates, while 25ha is being reverted to chalk grassland containing wild flowers.
The ewes are lambed at the beginning of April, with lambs finished in autumn on grass and concentrates. The majority of the ewes have been put to two Hartline rams, with the remainder going to nine Southdowns and three Suffolks. Last year, 903 lambs were sold with 155 ewe lambs retained – this equates to a lambing percentage of more than 170% lambs sold to ewes tupped.
The event’s chairman Bob Blanden says: “The region intends to build on the success of the 2010 event and promote its commercial, educational and social importance.
“It also allows south east region flock masters the chance to visit this very interesting livestock unit, and the organising committee are very impressed by the enthusiasm of David and Ewan.”
• When: Wednesday 13 June
• Where: Nugent Farms, Iveagh Farm, Upper Lambourn, Berkshire
• Tickets: Tickets available on the day costing £6 for NSA members, and £12 for non-members.
• What’s on: Trade and breed society stands seminars competitions including the Shepherd of the Year competition; demonstrations; sale of well-trained sheep dogs and farm tour.
• For more information on all three events, visit the National Sheep Association website