Showcase your shepherding skills

IF you are a Scottish sheep farmer or have an interest in working with sheep, you could have the chance to showcase your talent and qualify for the NSA Scotsheep 2012 Shepherd of the Year award.

Four finalists will be selected at each of three qualifying events, which will take place in May.

The top four from each regional competition will qualify to compete in the final at NSA Scotsheep, held at The Morrisons Farm at Cumnock, Ayrshire, on Wednesday, June 6.

The winner and runner-up will qualify for the national competition at NSA Sheep 2012 at Malvern on July 4.

Former Oatridge College head of agriculture, Dave Turner, is organising the competition, and is calling for more young people to enter.

“We want to encourage more youngsters in their teens and early 20s to take part in the competition, which is designed to help those seeking to pursue a career in the sheep industry to hone their skills in sheep husbandry and management.”

The regional qualifying events will take place at Oatridge College, Broxburn, on Thursday, May 17; Barony College, Dumfries, on May 23, and Dunecht Estate, Aberdeen, on Tuesday, May 29.

Practical tasks

The competition will encompass a variety of practical tasks, including sheep shearing, prime lamb judging (with reason giving) and ATV trailer loading, maintenance and safety.

Competitors will be required to demonstrate their skills and knowledge of hoof care, sheep handling, sheep health (vaccination and dosing) and flock management and nutrition.

The competition is open to all young people in the industry (not only shepherds), who must be aged 26 or under on July 4. Entry is free.

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