FOLLOWING a one-year break to 'explore other support ventures for young sheep farmers of the UK', the National Sheep Association has re-opened applications for its Next Generation 'Ambassadors'.

The Ambassador programme, now in its sixth year, offers young sheep farmers aged 20 to 34 years the opportunity to take part in a series of technical and personal development sessions to further their experience and understanding of the UK sheep industry.

'Innovative and enthusiastic' young shepherds from Scotland, England, Wales, and Northern Ireland can now apply to be one of 2020's team of 12 ambassadors.

Previous ambassador Kirree Kermode, from the Isle of Man, said: “I would highly recommend the Next Generation ambassador programme for any young person passionate about the industry. I thought I knew quite a lot about sheep farming but was hugely surprised how much I learned, not only from the host of brilliant delivery sessions from business professionals, vets, advisors and farmers but also from the other 11 members of my group who I now consider great friends.”

Online applications are open at for those interested in being selected as an ambassador for 2020.

Co-ordinating the programme for 2020, NSA Communications Officer, Katie James commented: “The online application is a simple process. Interested parties will have to share some information about their own shepherding experience and their hopes for their futures in the UK sheep industry. As in previous years we hope to attract a varied group of young sheep farmers; Whether you are a first generation farmer, someone who hopes to one take on their family farm or a contract shepherd or shepherdess just starting out in your career, we really are excited to see what you can offer as an NSA Next Generation ambassador, and we are proud of the opportunity that we can provide you and other keen young sheep farmers.”

The deadline for applications is 5pm on Monday December 16, 2019. Shortlisted candidates will be informed shortly after. Interviews for those shortlisted will take place the week beginning Monday January 6, 2020, via teleconference, Skype or Facetime.