The National Sheep Association’s (NSA) Breed Society Forum proved the perfect platform for discussion on the future of UK sheep farming at the annual one-day gathering of UK sheep breed societies held this week near Rugby, Warwickshire.

Attracting a good number of sheep breed society representatives, attendees heard from a range of speakers covering everything from flock accreditation and its potential future role in the UK’s stratified system, to changes to the Signet programme, and British Wool’s forward plan.

Leading the event, NSA operations director Joanne Briggs said: “This year’s forum provided a fantastic opportunity to gather opinion from a range of sheep farmers, industry representatives and experts.

Despite the many differences in sheep farming systems between those at the forum, it was interesting and encouraging to see that most agree on the focus the industry must take to ensure its future success and development.

“Different areas of the sheep industry were covered by our guest speakers from Signet, British Wool and SRUC, demonstrating NSA’s commitment to supporting all areas of the UK sheep industry. We thank all three organisations for joining us and providing such interesting updates.”

Following briefings from industry representatives in the morning – including NSA policy and activities updates – NSA livestock researchers led afternoon activities with an interactive workshop on the association’s work to help maintain the UK’s traditional stratified system of sheep production, as well as an open discussion on accreditation schemes.

The event was also the first opportunity for newly-recruited NSA campaigns and activities officer, Chris Adamson to introduce himself as an NSA contact who will be working closely with NSA affiliated breed societies in the future.