With the opportunity to win the title of National Sheep Association (NSA) Next Generation Shepherd of the Year halted due to Covid-19 last year, the NSA, along with competition sponsors the Texel Sheep Society, have announced the contest has resumed this spring.

Having qualified for the finals of the contest that should have taken place at NSA Sheep Event 2020, twelve young and skilled shepherds are now preparing themselves for a series of virtual tasks to get the competition started once again.

The long awaited finals of the competition will see competitors take part in a demonstration of skills including; ATV handling; healthcare administration; carcase judging; and shearing.

Competition organiser Helen Roberts commented:

"It is encouraging to see the competitors embrace using virtual technology in order that the competition can take place, and see how they have overcome the new challenges that this has bought to the competition. I wish all the competitors well with their tasks.

She added that she is grateful of the support given by the Texel Sheep Society, who will offer winning competitors a generous slice of the £2000 prize money.

Developing the Next Generation Shepherd

Texel Society Chief Executive, John Yates, says recognising the need to encourage and develop the younger generation and its support of the NSA Next Generation Shepherd competitions, was just one of a number of activities the Society undertook in this area.

He said:

There is no doubting that with a changing focus in agricultural support across the UK in future years, the sheep industry is facing challenging times.

"Attracting the best and brightest young minds into any organisation is, without doubt, the main ingredient for success.

"The sheep sector has plenty of enthusiastic young entrants, but they need every opportunity available to them to succeed. This is vital if the UK is to remain a competitive player in the world sheep industry,” he concluded.