The National Sheep Association (NSA) is celebrating 10 years under the leadership of chief executive Phil Stocker.

Taking the helm at a time before the term Brexit existed and climate change was an infrequent reference, nobody could have predicted the incredible change for British agriculture that Stocker would have to lead the association through – and continues to do so, in a manner that is respected throughout the industry and beyond.

The 10-year anniversary has prompted a flurry of congratulatory messages from far and wide, emphasising how lucky NSA is to have such an esteemed and capable champion leading the association forward and helping to give UK sheep farmers a voice that is valued by many key decision makers.

Cumbrian sheep farmer and NSA vice-president John Geldard was NSA chairman when Stocker was appointed chief executive.

He said:

I had the pleasure of interviewing Phil Stocker 10 years ago. I remember it extremely well with all involved in the interview process convinced he was the right man for the job, and how right we were.

“It was an absolute delight to be NSA chairman and work together with Phil for the first few years of his leadership.

"His vision for fulfilling his role, increasing the work of the NSA for the benefit of UK sheep farmers has been immense - and the increase in resource that has allowed NSA to magnify its work, I believe, to be down to Phil.

“His broad knowledge from his early career as a farm manager to working for both RSPB and the Soil Association means he is well placed to know and understand the challenge the UK sheep sector has faced over recent years and his balanced view has earned him much deserved respect from people both within and outside of the industry.”