Two awards from the National Sheep Association (NSA) recognising the contributions from those working within the UK sheep sector are now open for nominations.

The NSA George Hedley memorial award and the NSA Bob Payne memorial award are both well known for rewarding deserving individuals from the UK sheep industry.

Both NSA awards will now be awarded annually to recognise the increasingly significant number of people who contribute to the sector, the association has said.

NSA George Hedley memorial award

First presented more than 60 years ago, the NSA George Hedley award acknowledges outstanding individual contributions to the UK sheep sector.

It is given to honour the memory of George Hedley, a respected farmer who was involved with the NSA for many years. While in the position of NSA chairperson, Hedley was tragically killed in a car accident in January of 1960.

The award is typically seen as a lifetime achievement honour to a highly esteemed person within UK sheep farming who has made a sustained or momentous contribution.

The list includes, but is not limited to, influencers involved in sheep-focused research/development; provision of out-of-the ordinary services; industry promotion/profile raising; charity work; training/education; or facilitation of best practice.

Chief executive of the NSA, Phil Stocker, said: “The George Hedley award is a really prestigious recognition of outstanding contribution to the sheep industry in the UK.

“The long and very worthy list of individuals who have been recipients of this award in the past is testimony to the dedication of people within our sector.”

Individual NSA members and committees, major agricultural organisations, farming unions and NSA-affiliated sheep breed societies are now invited to make nominations for the award as a 200-word written citation.

NSA Bob Payne memorial award

The NSA is also inviting nominations from NSA committees for the NSA Bob Payne memorial award for an ‘unsung hero’.

It is given to an individual from within the NSA’s own extensive network of officeholders, committee members, volunteers and staff who go above and beyond for the good of the NSA.

Speaking on the Bob Payne award, Stocker said: “This special award really does give praise to those individuals who are often the unassuming, loyal, hard-working individuals that are key to the successful running of an aspect of NSA’s work.

“It is pleasing to now be able to present this annually to reflect the incredible number of people within our organisation whose work is essential but often unseen.”

Nominations for the NSA Bob Payne memorial award must come from the NSA committees themselves and the NSA George Hedley memorial award must be received by Friday, September 30, accompanied by a citation. The citation should be limited to 200 words.