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Contrasting sheep systems to benefit from NSA Next GENE-eration giveaway

14th August 2023

Nine young sheep farmers from across the UK are to benefit from the opportunity to access top-class genetics following a National Sheep Association (NSA) Next Generation programme initiative.
Following a successful launch of the NSA Next GENE-eration giveaway in 2021, NSA was thrilled to offer keen young sheep enthusiasts the chance to compete for a prize of a ram voucher again this year. But in a development from the 2021 giveaway, as well as teaming up with Rob and Jo Hodgkins of Kaiapoi Romneys as in the previous competition, NSA was pleased to also work with the Dutch Spotted Sheep Society to increase the number of young farmers who could win a voucher and to allow those with varied sheep enterprises to benefit.
NSA Communications Manager Katie James says: “The NSA Next GENE-eration giveaway has been a great success again this year with the addition of the Dutch Spotted ram vouchers really complementing the existing offering.
“The two breeds offer sheep farmers from contrasting systems the opportunity to benefit from top class genetics that will help them progress their systems. Some incredibly deserving young sheep farmers have been awarded these and we look forward to seeing the benefit the rams bring to their flocks over the next year and will share this journey with interested parties along the way.”

Preparing to make the journey to Cambridgeshire to exchange their vouchers for the MV accredited, performance recorded rams known to carry the Myomax double muscling gene from the Kaiapoi Romney flock are young shepherds Carys Jones from Carmarthenshire, Peter Sessford from Lincolnshire, Jenny and Richard Oglesby from Yorkshire and Dafydd Owen from Denbighshire. The lucky four were selected as recipients of the rams as it was felt they would fit well into the young farmer’s extensive, forward thinking systems.
Rob Hodgkins of Kaiapoi Romneys 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 this giveaway will make some meaningful change to these deserving young farmers.”
Getting ready to hit the pedigree Dutch Spotted sales this season are voucher winners Sam Lee from Northamptonshire, Eilidh Hortin from Cumbria, Lisa Lewis from Carmarthenshire, Kirsten Hardisty and Michael Houghton from Derbyshire, and Fiona Wilshaw from Cheshire.
Edward Adamson of the Dutch Spotted Sheep Society says: “As a relatively new breed in the UK the Dutch Spotted Sheep Society understands the difficulties of getting started and is pleased to help some enthusiastic young sheep farmers establish their businesses and realise the qualities of the Dutch Spotted breed.”
NSA’s Katie James concludes: “This has been a fantastic initiative to be involved with and NSA’s thanks must go to Rob and Jo Hodgkins, the Dutch Spotted Sheep Society, and of course those who helped along the selection process including final judges NSA Northern Ireland Development Officer Edward Adamson, NSA Scottish Region Coordinator Grace Reid, NSA Treasurer Dave Gregory, and NSA Trustee Henry Dunn.”