Sheep back on the menu at Scotland’s major show event

Hopes are rising that it will be ‘fourth time lucky’ for the organisers of Scotsheep, Scotland’s major event for all things ovine after the Covid pandemic saw the event postponed twice in 2020 and 2021.

Organised by the Scottish region of the National Sheep Association, the event will be held on Wednesday 1 June at Over Finlarg, Tealing, near Dundee where Robert and Hazel McNee have built a profitable business since moving to the farm in 2011.

The event was originally planned for May 2020 but was then postponed to July of that year. However, continued Covid restrictions on gatherings saw a second postponement to May 2021 – but with the pandemic still riding high in January of that year, the organisers took the difficult decision to postpone the event once again until the beginning of June 2022.

However with a full-blown event planned for later this month, Scotsheep 2022 will feature a farm tour, over 200 commercial, educational, sheep breed society and individual breeder stands, competitions, working demonstrations seminars and workshops, along with a show and sale of ewe hoggs.

Industry experts will be giving their views on a range of different topics relating to the sheep industry in a comprehensive seminar and workshop programme.

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Four seminars involving 15 different speakers will take place throughout the day, focusing on flock health treatments, the importance of the Scotch Lamb label, how the industry can move towards a net zero future and getting a step on the farming ladder.

"This year's seminar programme includes various topics that will have something of interest for everyone and I'm sure farmers will take home some new ideas for their businesses," said event chairman Willy Millar, who farms nearby to Over Finlarg.

"We have some fantastic panellists forward who will be willing to interact with as many of you as possible throughout the course of the day."

The organisers have revealed that seminar programme will be complemented by 12 workshops, as well as a butchery and cookery demonstration from 11.20am-noon and 1.50pm-2.30pm.

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An array of topics from common diseases and sheep nutrition will feature in the workshop programme, as well as the power of social media in the agriculture industry from Cammy Wilson of the video blog, The Sheep Game.

The McNees’ farm extends to 740 acres, with additional hill grazing available on a neighbouring heather hill and rent 40 acres of seasonal grazing on a nearby farm. Both the sheep flock and suckler herd are now completely closed, with only home-bred replacements used for breeding and tups and bulls bought at auction.

The 1,100 strong breeding flock comprises 600 hill-type North Country Cheviot ewes of which 200 are bred pure while 200 Blackface ewes are crossed with home-bred crossing-type Bluefaced Leicesters to produce Scotch Mules

The farm also runs 100 pure Texels and pedigree Bluefaced Leicesters for breeding tups for home use and shearlings for the commercial market. The farm is also home to a range of pedigree cattle.

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