Young sheep farmers encouraged to join ambassador programme

An opportunity has returned for young sheep farmers to join an industry development programme
An opportunity has returned for young sheep farmers to join an industry development programme

A new group of young sheep farmers who want to further their development within the sector are being sought after as part of an industry programme.

The Next Generation Ambassador programme, now in its eighth year, offers farmers aged 18-34 a series of technical and personal development sessions.

The sessions are aimed to further their experience and understanding of the UK sheep industry.

As well as providing the chance to visit varied sheep farming systems and parts of the supply chain, the programme delivers networking opportunities.

Young farmers are also given the chance to meet with industry experts and leaders, with the scheme opening doors to new opportunities.

Young shepherds from England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland are being urged to apply for their chance to become one of 12 ambassadors.

The National Sheep Association (NSA), which spearheads the programme, says the 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," the NSA says.

"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 just starting out in your career.

"We 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.”

Applications opened today (17 November) on the NSA Next Generation website and will close on 12 December.

Applications will then be shortlisted by NSA regional representatives before online interviews take place in early January 2024.

The programme will commence in February 2024 and will require successful applicants to commit to spending around 10 nights away from home during the year.