Sheep industry offered hands-on experience

Members of the sheep industry are being offered the chance to take part in a series of four workshops based around the theme of adding value at the National Sheep Association (NSA) Sheep Event. 

The event takes place tomorrow (Wednesday, 27 July), at the Three Counties Showground in Malvern.

“A hands-on approach is often the best way to learn, so we hope to get people involved, asking questions and making the most of the experts on hand,” said NSA chief executive Phil Stocker.

“Each of the workshops will run twice through the day, meaning small groups of visitors can take advantage of the informal sessions and make them relevant to their own flocks at home.”

The first of the workshops will begin at 9.45am on the topic of ‘Can you afford lame sheep? Know what you are up against and have a plan’. Sheep vet Fiona Lovatt will be running this session to help farmers consider their own situation with regard to lame sheep. Diagnosing lameness and developing a tailored industry-approved five-point lameness reduction will also be included in this session.

Following on from this, at 10.30am, farmers will be able to benefit from the next session: ‘Branching out: How trees on sheep farms can increase productivity and profit’. The seminar will discuss the role that trees play in limiting threats such as neonatal lamb mortality, infectious lameness and liver fluke.

Ian Cairns of the Farming Advice Service will follow this by offering a reminder of the payment rules for sheep keepers in England during the ‘Protect your payments: Keeping on top of sheep identification, reporting and recording rules’ workshop, starting at 11.15am.

The final workshop, at 12 noon, will be based on ‘Great grass: The role of over-seeing in grassland management’. Visitors at this seminar will be able to ask questions and gain a more technical insight, after taking advantage of live over-seeding demonstrations to show how to maximise profit on the value of permanent pasture and non-rotational grassland.

“We’ve deliberately chosen topics that NSA members frequently ask us questions about,” concluded Stocker. “By working with partnership companies we hope we can provide a unique opportunity for visitors to get the information they need to add value and maximise returns from their business.”

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