Young shepherds get chance to show skills

Young shepherds can show off their skills in the Young Shepherd of the Year competition at Scotsheep 2016.
Young shepherds can show off their skills in the Young Shepherd of the Year competition at Scotsheep 2016.

Borders youngsters with an interest in sheep will have the opportunity of demonstrating their skills in the NSA Scotsheep Young Shepherd of the Year competition.

The competition will be held on June 1 at this year’s NSA Scotsheep to be staged at Blythbank Farm near West Linton. It is open to those who have left school and are aged 26 or under on the cut-off day of July 27.

Qualifying youngsters, who could be working shepherds, farm workers, students or simply with in interest in sheep, will compete for the NSA Scotsheep Trophy and a cash prize of £300 for the winner and £200 for the runner-up. Both will have the opportunity of representing Scotland in the combined national and European finals at NSA Sheep 2016 at Malvern, Worcester, on July 27, with a top prize of £1,000.

NSA development officer for Scotland, George Milne, added: “The Young Shepherd of the Year competition offers a real incentive to encourage the next generation of sheep farmers and shepherds to equip themselves with the range of skills required for a career in the industry.”

The competition is designed to test participants’ practical skills and practical knowledge used in every-day work with sheep, as well as their broader knowledge of the sheep industry throughout the UK and Europe, including the various breeds of sheep.

There will also be two general question papers on sheep production and husbandry and the identification of sheep breeds.

All competitors will be expected to carry out a number of practical tasks, including foot care techniques, handling, vaccination, dosing, sheep shearing, wool handling, prime lamb selection and demonstrate the safe use of an ATV with trailer transporting stock.