The National Sheep Association (NSA) has announced the 12 individuals selected to represent the sheep industry in its 2016 Next Generation Ambassador programme.
This year’s cohort comes from a variety of backgrounds, ranging from a self-employed contract shepherd with no previous farming experience to a third generation farmer who has recently directed the family business into sheep production.
The programme will provide the ambassadors with a series of delivery sessions covering a wide range of sheep topics and developing business skills, which are a mix of classroom activities, practical sessions, farm walks and site visits.
Phil Stocker, NSA Chief Executive, says: “For 20 years or more, addressing the short fall of new entrants into the farming industry has been on the agenda and is one of the biggest challenges we face. The next generation coming through into the sheep industry is absolutely vital.
"We must cultivate talent and encourage high calibre individuals into the sector who can bring enthusiasm and fresh ideas."
Three Ambassador Groups have been selected since the initiative was launched in 2014.
Applications for the 2017 NSA Next Generation Ambassador Group will open in autumn 2016.
This year’s ambassadors are from across the UK.
For more information visit www.nationalsheep.org.uk/next-generation/ambassador-group/