The Texel Sheep Society is once again getting behind the future of the sheep industry and supporting the wider industry through its sponsorship of the Young Shepherd Competition at NSA Central Region’s Early Spring Gathering at Bakewell on 26 January.
This novel event is designed to give sheep farmers in the heart of England the chance to catch up on the latest developments in the industry ahead of the hectic spring workload and this year is focussed on giving farmers the latest information to manage their businesses.
A range of interactive demonstrations and seminars will take place throughout the day and allow farmers and all involved in the sheep industry to share knowledge and best practice on a wide range of subjects.
The Young Shepherd Competition, open to those aged 26 and under, will see entrants tested on their skills in lamb selection, sheep handling, vaccination and dosing as well as preparation of sheep for the abattoir and quad bike handling, with a written test also part of the challenge.
Texel Sheep Society chief executive John Yates said the Young Shepherd of the Year Competition helped encourage the future generation of sheep farmers and shepherds to refine their practical skills and industry knowledge.
“As we enter an exciting era in sheep production when the focus will increasingly be on marginal gains there is no doubt that skilled young people will become increasingly important. The sheep industry needs its young people to be multi-skilled, open minded and technologically competent individuals.
“Events such as this give our young people the opportunity to showcase and further develop their skills in a friendly, competitive environment. There is a world of opportunity available to those youngsters with the right skills and the ability to apply them in a wide range of situations,” he explained.
Mr Yates added that the development of new technologies, such as genomics which the Society is heavily involved in, had the potential to significantly shift the focus in sheep production and add an exciting new dynamic to the industry. “While the same practical skills that have always been needed will still be essential, so too will be a greater understanding of these emerging technologies.”