Farming: Highland fling for sheep sector with one-off event in Dingwall

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A MAJOR one-day event for sheep farmers in the Highlands and Islands is to be held next year by the Scottish region of the National Sheep Association (NSA).

NSA Highlandsheep will take place at Dingwall Mart on Thursday, 30 May, and will include trade and sheep breed stands, seminars, demonstrations, educational exhibits, competitions and other features of relevance to sheep farmers.

“The national sheep flock has been declining, particularly in the Highlands and Islands, and we hope NSA Highlandsheep will help reverse this decline by bringing the latest genetic, husbandry, technical and marketing information to the area and highlighting the marketing opportunities which exist for Scotch lamb both at home and abroad,” said NSA Scotland’s chairman, Jimmy Sinclair.

“The Highlands and Islands is an important area for the production of store lambs for the whole Scottish sheep industry and it is vital that this vital reservoir of quality lambs is nurtured and expanded to enable the meat industry to maintain critical mass.”

Sinclair said Scotland’s biennial sheep event, Scotsheep, had not been held in the Highland area for some years and NSA Scotland was keen to raise the profile of the organisation in the area and give Highland sheep farmers a major sheep event without having to travel further south.

Organisation of the event will be in the hands of a local committee under the chairmanship of North Country Cheviot sheep breeder Rod McKenzie, Muirton, Munlochy, who until recently was development manager with Quality Meat Scotland’s Scottish sheep strategy. He welcomed the move by NSA Scotland to bring a major sheep event to the Highlands.

“The sheep industry has reached an important crossroads and we are looking to NSA Highlandsheep to inspire a new level of confidence and optimism among Highland sheep farmers,” said Mackenzie.