With less than a week to go until the flagship event of the National Sheep Association (NSA), Sheep Event 2018, young sheep farmers from across the UK are preparing to compete for the title of NSA Next Generation Shepherd of the Year.

Set to be one of the highlights of the day the competition will see 17 under 27-year-olds, having qualified at regional NSA events, come together for the national final at the Three Counties Showground, Malvern, Worcestershire, on Wednesday, July 18 to show off their shepherding and sheep husbandry prowess.

To secure the prestigious title competitors will take part in a series of tests including shearing, demonstration of vaccination and worming techniques, lamb selection and ATV handling, as well as a mystery challenge testing the young shepherds’ skills and knowledge of a topical subject currently affecting the UK sheep sector.

It is not just the title of Next Generation Shepherd of the year that is at stake. Successful winners will be awarded prizes from a prize pot of £2000.

NSA chief executive Phil Stocker said: “The national finals of the NSA Next Generation shepherd of the year competition attract a large audience at the Sheep Event, and rightly so! It is always pleasing to witness such an impressive level of skill and knowledge amongst these enthusiastic young sheep farmers and is more encouraging evidence that our industry is in safe hands for the future.”

The Next Generation shepherd competition is just one example of NSA’s commitment to supporting young people working in the UK sheep industry as part of the Next Generation programme. The successful scheme offers guidance and support to passionate young shepherds through training opportunities, open days and the Next Generation Ambassador programme.