iTexel…are you ready for the future of sheep farming?

Next month’s iTexel conference will take place at the North Lakes Hotel, Penrith, on Saturday, November 17.

The event aims to give farmers, and those in the supply chain, an insight into the prospects for the sheep sector as well as new technologies and concepts which can help the supply chain to become more resilient.

Texel Sheep Society chief executive John Yates said: “The ‘agri-tech’ era offered huge opportunities for farmers to take advantage of a range of emerging technologies and ally them with traditional stockmanship skills.

As with most changes in farming, this adoption of agri-tech will be an evolution of current practices to incorporate new developments as they become available and applicable.

At a farm-level, Nuffield Scholar and Texel breeder Neil McGowan will give an insight into his learnings from farmers, researchers and geneticists in Canada, Australia, New Zealand and the US.

Moving up the supply chain, the conference will hear from Rizvan Khalid of Euro Quality Lambs, a family-run abattoir in Shropshire.

Khalid will give attendees the latest updates and insights into the sheep meat market, both domestically and internationally, with a focus on the growing influence of the ethnic market on the European sheep sector.

Adding to this focus on maximising value in the supply chain, will be Natalie Howes of Abacus Bio. A farmer’s daughter from New Zealand, Howes has been actively involved in a number of projects to add value to red meat.

Scotland’s Rural College (SRUC) senior agricultural economist Steven Thomson will also give the conference an up-to-date overview of the economic challenges facing the sheep sector.

From a Texel society aspect, the society’s management of genetic improvement services, as well as its investment in research and development, have been designed to equip Texel breeders with the tools needed to thrive in future.

A link to the full iTexel conference programme can be found here.