The British Texel Sheep Society is putting its weight firmly behind the future of British Sheep farming with support for the next generation of UK sheep farmers in 2015.
Society chief executive John Yates says the Society and its Youth Development Programme have a number of initiatives planned in the coming year aimed at helping future farmers, the first of which is the Society’s sponsorship of the Young Shepherd of the Year Competition at The NSA Central Region Winter Fair at Bakewell on 29 January.
The 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.
Mr 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,” he said.
Later in the year the Society will also be supporting a number of young members who wish to attend the Sheep Breeders Round Table, said Mr Yates. “The Society’s support of young members through both these initiatives is essential ine nsuring we equip the next generation of sheep breeders with the skills and knowledge needed.”