There was a truly international flavour to the National Sheep Association's flagship Sheep Event held 17-18 July 2018 at Malvern.
With the support of UK’s Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board (AHDB), in conjunction with the British Livestock Genetics Consortium (BLG), overseas delegates from Mexico, Argentina, Latvia & Romania were part of an Inward Trade Mission and were joined by other large organised groups of international visitors from Germany, Israel and Finland among others.
Farm Tours and an Industry Gala Dinner were held on Tuesday 17th July with the Sheep Event itself taking place on Wednesday 18th July. Visitors had the opportunity to visit two progressive sheep farms in the surrounding area to see how two producers were embracing the challenges posed by Brexit, focusing on diversification and production efficiencies to future proof their businesses.
Paula & Martin Whittaker, Gloucestershire presented their fully certified organic farm with 350 breeding ewes, a 70-cow commercial beef suckler herd and some arable production. Direct sales of home-produced lamb and beef are also part of the business.
Sam Jones, Worcestershire, runs a flock of 1,150 North Country Mules as the primary enterprise alongside some arable. A keen advocate of data recording, the farming system incorporates solar panels and a biomass boiler.
The business-to-business Sheep Event offered overseas visitors the opportunity to meet a wide range of commercial companies associated with the sheep industry, breed societies and industry groups. As well as finding out about the latest innovations and products available from the UK, delegates could also strengthen their technical knowledge by attending seminars and workshops during the day.
Grateful thanks are extended to the farm hosts, NSA & AHDB for providing a strong programme of activities.