After an unplanned four-year break due to Covid, the biennial National Sheep Association (NSA) Sheep Event is back with a bang.
The one-day event at Three Counties Showground on 27 July features a packed programme of seminars and workshops, as well as other visitor favourites including the sheepdog sale and the Next Generation competition.
See also: 10 top tips for aspiring sheep farmers
The event will this year take the theme “UK sheep farming: A positive future”.
Phil Stocker, chief executive at the NSA, says the return of the event is an opportunity to bring the entire industry together to discuss the challenges it faces, and to think about solutions to secure its future.
“Agriculture is facing the biggest changes we’ve experienced in our lifetimes, with regards to policy and trade, and it’s difficult for farmers to keep the pace with it all,” says Mr Stocker.
“The event will provide an opportunity to get a deeper understanding from the experts, take the temperature of all the changes that are going on, and for farmers to find out what they can do to their businesses to meet some of the challenges that lie ahead.”
Calling on the views of experts from across the industry, the seminar programme features four key talks:
- Where is the balance between our diverse market opportunities? (11am-12pm)
- Is grassland our salvation for carbon capture and nature recovery? (12.15pm-1.15pm)
- Sheep farmers – a force for social good (1:30pm-2:30pm)
- Implementing radical change to meet future sheep farming challenges (2.45pm-3.45pm)
Chaired by the NSA’s Campbell Tweed, the final session of the day, on the future of sheep farming, will feature insight from independent sheep and beef consultant Liz Genever.
She will offer an overview of why agriculture needs agents of change, as well as what the common barriers are for individuals and businesses.
Ms Genever will be joined by Tim White, Farmers Weekly’s 2021 Sheep Farmer of the Year, and Peter Williams, a sheep farmer on Anglesey who is breeding sheep to cater for ethnic markets.
They have found success by thinking outside the box and are now turning their ideas into a commercial reality.
For those looking for a more hands-on experience, a series of workshops will be running throughout the day, hosted by vets and advisers, as well as two sessions with Defra.
- A sheep post-mortem to discuss preventative measures to improve flock health
- Practical tips on vaccinations
- A guide to Defra’s Animal Health and Welfare Pathway
- How to use the latest data on breeding to select for important traits and mitigate iceberg diseases.
Next Generation area
Reflecting on the event theme of a “positive future”, the Next Generation area will host the Young Shepherd of the Year final, which will see the winner claim the coveted prize trophy, as well as £1,000 cash.
Ambassadors from the NSA will be on hand to discuss the opportunities available to young farmers through the Next Generation programme, including mentorship, work experience placements and a matchmaking service for employment, rental and share-farming opportunities.
Date Wednesday 27 July 2022
Time Gates open 9am
Venue Three Counties Showground, Malvern, WR13 6NW
Tickets Entry is free for NSA members. Non-members can purchase tickets on the gate for £20, or at a 20% discount online ahead of the event. Half-price tickets are available for students and YFC members. Under 16s and international visitors go free.
Further information can be found on the NSA website