Hoping farmers flock to NSA's winter fair for help and advice

THE National Sheep Association (NSA) is aiming to kickstart the sector’s year with a major event next week.

THE National Sheep Association (NSA) is aiming to kickstart the sector’s year with a major event next week. The NSA Central Region Winter Fair will be covering a variety of topics in seminars from wool prices to land management.

The event, at Bakewell Market on Thursday, January 24, will be looking at ideas for practical improvements that farmers can take home with them.

NSA chief executive Phil Stocker said: “Lamb prices are challenging and times feel tough at the moment – but the best way to respond is to move forward and look for ways to increase our resilience and success, both through maximising outputs and income, and through controlling inputs and costs. This is why I urge people not to miss this year’s Winter Fair – it has the potential to kick-start your 2013 farming year, providing plenty of inspiration and new, practical ideas to take home with you.”

British Wool Marketing Board’s Gareth Jones will be setting out the importance of his organisation and its role in working with and representing farmers’ interests.

He said: “Farmers may not always appreciate the work BWMB does throughout the supply chain, but it’s the organisation’s complete chain involvement which places BWMB in a unique position to be able to help the UK sheep industry extract maximum value from its wool.

“The BWMB is a farmer run organisation operating for the benefit of all UK wool producers – no matter how much wool, the type or quality of wool or how remote a location that wool is being produced, the BWMB is there to provide a service to all producers.”

The event will also be used as a shop window for the ongoing Campaign for Wool and the NSA’s Schools Wool Challenge – a contest for schools to produce an artwork, display or garment made entirely of wool.

Mr Jones said: “Wool is one of the most versatile and adaptable fibres in the world and is completely sustainable. We hope that the Schools Wool Challenge will help those participating gain a greater appreciation of wool as a fibre and use more wool in their daily lives.”

And the event will look at environmental stewardship schemes, the progress of CAP reform, shearing developments and sheep health, including detection, control and treatment of liver fluke.

Kath Birkinshaw, a former NSA Central Region chairperson, said: “In this day and age of higher costs and limited resources it is harder than ever to make a profit, so your decision-making has to be as up-to-date and informed as possible – and the Winter Fair is an essential event to attend.”


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