NSA launches Next Generation Ambassador programme’s return

The National Sheep Association (NSA) has announced the return of its popular Next Generation Ambassador programme after a one-year break.

The programme, which is now in its sixth year, offers young sheep farmers aged between 20 and 34 the opportunity to take part in a series of technical and personal development sessions to further their experience and understanding of the British sheep industry.

It is now reaching out to innovative and enthusiastic young shepherds from England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland to apply for their chance to become one of 12 ambassadors and start a lifelong journey with NSA.

Previous ambassadors are quick to promote the benefits the scheme has brought them.

2018 NSA Next Generation ambassador Kirree Kermode, from the Isle of Man, said: “I would highly recommend the Next Generation Ambassador programme for any young person passionate about the industry.

I thought I knew quite a lot about sheep farming but was hugely surprised how much I learned, not only from the host of brilliant delivery sessions from business professionals, vets, advisors and farmers but also from the other 11 members of my group who I now consider great friends.

Co-ordinating the programme for 2020, NSA communications officer, Katie James said: “The online application is a simple process.

“Interested parties will have to share some information about their own shepherding experience and their hopes for their futures in the UK sheep industry.

“As in previous years, we hope to attract a varied group of young sheep farmers.

“Whether you are a first-generation farmer, someone who hopes to one take on their family farm, or a contract shepherd or shepherdess just starting out, we are excited to see what you can offer as an NSA Next Generation Ambassador. We are proud of the opportunity that we can provide you and other keen young sheep farmers.”

Ernie Richards, an NSA Next Generation ambassador from the 2016 cohort, added: “I can’t recommend this programme enough.

It has given me the chance to meet likeminded young sheep farmers who I am confident have the passion, drive and ability to move our industry forward. Any young person currently working in this sector shouldn’t delay – apply today.

The ambassador group is part of the wider NSA Next Generation project, which is funded by the NSA regions and ram sales, with support from a number of delivery partners.

The deadline for applications is 5:00pm on Monday, December 16, 2019. Shortlisted candidates will be informed shortly after.

Interviews for those shortlisted will take place the week beginning Monday, January 6, 2020, via teleconference or web call.

Online applications are now open on the NSA Next Generation website.