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The next generation to address industry opportunities and threats at global meeting of sheep farmers

5th July 2024

Two young UK farmers will join a global gathering of sheep producers in Australia this summer thanks to a National Sheep Association (NSA) and Global Sheep Producers Forum funded project.

Selected from an exceptionally high calibre of candidates, Ed Brant from Lincolnshire, and Katie Evans from Norfolk, will travel to Adelaide in August to join fellow next generation farmers from Canada, New Zealand, the USA and Australia. The forum will allow the group to address global challenges to the sector and identify some collaborative solutions to ensure a sustainable and successful future for the sheep industry in all nations.

Both Ed and Katie will take with them extensive experience of the UK sheep sector through their careers in industry and working on their family farms. Ed and Katie are also both NSA Next Generation Ambassadors, having completed their year of personal and career development as part of the programme in 2022.

Ed runs 400 ewes plus replacements, a mixture of maternal Lleyn ewes and a terminal flock of Hampshire Downs, on the Lincolnshire Wolds. His background working in industry as a Sheep Breeding Consultant means he has a keen interest in performance-recording projects that provides him with comparative results from which he can make decisions and improvements to the family’s system.

Ed was previously the feature of a podcast organised by the Global Sheep Producers Forum and delivered by the AgWatchers podcast series in Australia and so is looking forward to getting further involved. He says: “I am delighted to be selected as one of the participants representing the UK. This is a fantastic opportunity to meet and work with the next generation of sheep producers from across the globe and I look forward to sharing our challenges, opportunities and solutions. I feel this collaboration is of great value to the future of our industry.”

Sheep farming is most definitely a family affair for Katie, who works alongside her parents and siblings on their farm’s three separate sheep flocks. Katie herself manages a flock of 600 performance-recorded pedigree Lleyn, producing finished and breeding stock for sale. The farm also runs 800 crossbred ewes and a small flock of Hebrideans, which graze heathland as part of a native- breed scheme. In addition to work at home, Katie’s also offers a contract shepherding service in her local area.

Katie says: “I’m really grateful for this opportunity and look forward to representing the UK personally and as an NSA Next Generation Ambassador. I am also excited to gain a new network of friends from around the world. I believe if we are to be an adaptable and sustainable industry we need to learn from other countries who farm in different climates and face different challenges. The global sheep forum will be a brilliant opportunity to do this.”

The exciting trip will include Ed and Katie joining a week long trip visiting notable sheep producers in South Australia as well as several days at the LambEx conference, the world’s biggest sheep, lamb and wool forum. The event will provide the group with the opportunity to deliver a presentation to delegates highlighting insights into the challenges and opportunities, and potential avenues for future cooperation between Global Sheep Forum member countries. These findings will come from a collaborative project already underway by the young farmers heading to Australia.

More information about the Global Sheep Producers Forum can be found at

The UK representatives are able to take part in the Next Generation gathering thanks to funding from the Forum itself, NSA and industry partners British Wool. Any other organisation or company that would be interested in supporting the programme are invited to contact