Farming News - NSA Next GENE-eration giveaway to help young sheep farmers progress their flocks

NSA Next GENE-eration giveaway to help young sheep farmers progress their flocks

05 Jul 2021
Frontdesk / Livestock

As part of its successful Next Generation programme that aims to encourage and support the sheep farmers and service providers of the future, the National Sheep Association (NSA) today launches its new NSA Next GENE-eration giveaway.

Up to five lucky recipients will receive a Kaiapoi Romney ram known to carry the Myomax gene.

Having teamed up with sheep farmers Rob and Jo Hodgkins of Kaiapoi Romneys, NSA is inviting applications from enthusiastic young sheep farmers in the UK who would like to be considered as a recipient of a Kaiapoi Romney ram. 

The new programme will see a maximum of five, MV accredited, performance recorded rams given away in advance of the 2021 breeding season and has been made possible due to the Frank Parkinson Agricultural Trust who donated funds to the Kaiapoi flock to import rams into the UK in 2019 known to carry the Myomax double muscling gene.

The rams will be gifted to the successful recipients by Rob and Jo Hodgkins through the  Frank Parkinson Agricultural Trust , with NSA acting as facilitator for the process. David Gardner, Agricultural Trustee at The Frank Parkinson Agricultural Trust comments: “The Trust is delighted to have helped bring this excellent initiative to the sheep sector and looks forward to hearing how the rams make an impact on the recipients’ businesses over the coming years.”

It is envisaged that five rams will be given to five recipients in the giveaway, but applicants can make a business case for more than one ram if they wish. The programme is expected to offer five rams to young sheep farmers each year for the next five years.

Rob Hodgkins comments: “ As a farm we have had the benefit of a lot of people's and business's goodwill over the years. It's important to Jo and myself that we are now in a position to give back to the industry that has given so much to us. We hope over the next five years of this giveaway we can make some meaningful change to a lot of young farmers .”

Applications are sought from sheep farmers looking to use the ram(s) in an outdoor lambing system (or as part of a move to an outdoor system) who are aged 35 or under on 1st September 2021.

NSA Communications Officer Katie James who is helping to facilitate the giveaway says: “This is a fantastic opportunity for the UK’s next generation of sheep farmers and we are very grateful to Rob, Jo and the Frank Parkinson Trust for making this giveaway a possibility.

“The UK has some incredibly skilled and passionate young shepherds and shepherdesses who will be really deserving of this helping hand.”

The rams, each with an individual value of approximately £2000 will fit well into low-input outdoor breeding systems. No monetary alternative is offered, and the successful recipients will be expected to feedback to NSA and Rob and Jo Hodgkins on the performance of the rams and their subsequent offspring. Recipients will also be asked to partake in associated press and publicity relating to the programme.

Applications open today (Friday 2nd July) on the NSA website go.nationalsheep.org.uk/ramgiveaway and will remain open until Monday 26th July. All applicants will be notified of whether they have made it to the next stage of the application process. Shortlisted applicants will be invited to an online selection interview during the week beginning Monday 9th August 2021 via Zoom or Microsoft Teams, and the successful applicants informed within 48 hours. The selected recipients will be expected to collect the ram(s) safely and legally at their own expense following an independent vet check of the rams during the first week of September.

For more information please contact NSA Communications Officer Katie James katie@nationalsheep.org.uk