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What to See and Do

Crook Making Demonstration

Tom Lunman will be demonstrating his skills of making shepherds crooks periodically throughout the day in building 5.

 

Farm Tour

The farm tour runs from 9am to 3pm at Aikengall, and gives you a great opportunity to experience the quality of livestock, the lie of the land and the scale of the farming operation. The farm tour will begin with the first trailers leaving the outdoor trade stands at 9am. From the starting point the farm tour rises 115 metres through grade 4.1 to 5.1 land. The farm tour runs along the march boundary of Aikengall to the first stop at 315 metres above sea level. At this point looking southeast Community Windpower will explain the Aikengall Community Windfarms covering the current site, its expansion over the years and its involvement in the local community. Along the way on the farm tour you will see the farms silage fields and how the business operates its stratified breeding system starting with pure Scottish Blackface ewes, the Scottish Blackface ewes tupped to the Bluefaced Leicester and Scottish Mule ewes with texel lambs at foot from Nunraw. There will also be a selection of Simmental cross cows and calves and heifers with Lincoln Red and Aberdeen Angus calves. After stop 1 the farm tour heads south to stop 2 where specialists from SAC consulting will introduce the business, the stratified sheep breeding system and give an insight into the flocks’ key performance indicators.

After stop 2 the tour continues down to Watson seeds. Watson seeds have provided the family with grass seeds for a number of years. Watson’s have set out a trial for both full and rejuvenation reseeds comprising of 3 different drills including the Moore Unidrill, Erth Agriseeder and Vredo Overseeder. Watson’s staff will deliver their findings from this trial and you will be able to see their grass mixtures in person and hear about the mixtures they provide the Hamilton Family. The drills will also be on site There will be a drink awaiting your final stop by courtesy of Watson Seeds before the tour concludes at AIkengall.

 

Fencing Competition 

Fencing contractors will put their skills to the test, when they compete in a competition sponsored by Bryce Suma Post Drivers, Robertson Timber and Tornado Wire.

Eight two-man teams from the UK as far as Perthshire in the North, East Sussex in the South and Gwynedd in in the west of Wales will be tasked with erecting a section of high tensile stock netting (60-70 metres in length), with two end straining posts and a slight turn towards one end within the three and a half hours allocated. 

The competition begins at 10.30am and finishes at 2.00pm, with the prize giving and award ceremony taking place at 3.30pm on the main stage in the seminar building. 

 

Lamb Butchery Demonstration

“Value added carcase- Shows the versatility of the lamb and what can be produced from its carcase” – This butchery demonstration/workshop presented by Gordon Newlands, Brands Development Manager at QMS along with a young butcher will take place in Building 2 at 11.35am and 2.55pm. 

 

NSA Next Generation Shepherd of the Year Competition

The competition is designed to test Sheperd competitors practical skills and practical knowledge used in their every-day work with sheep, as well as their broader knowledge of the sheep industry throughout the UK and Europe, including the various sheep breeds. (The competition is being held on Tuesday 4th June 2024 and is not open to visitors).

The presentation of prizes will take place a 3.30pm on Wednesday 5th June in the seminar building. The winner and runner up will have the honour of representing Scotland in the national finals at the NSA National Sheep event at Malvern on 30th July 2024.

 

Opening Ceremony

The event will be officially opened at 10am in the seminar building - Introduction by Colin MacPhail, NSA Scotsheep 2024 Organising Committee Chairman, Address by Peter Myles, NSA Scotland Chairman, Official Opening by Ken Fletcher & Presentation of NSA Scotland Silver Salver followed by presentation of best trade stand competition awards.

 

Seminars

The NSA Scotsheep seminar programme always provides a line-up of interesting speakers and relevant topics. Seminars will see farmers and industry spokesmen put forward their opinions and experiences, with plenty of time in each session for the audience to engage in discussion and debate.

In addition to the seminars there will be a workshop programme running through the day. See seminar topics, speakers and timetable by clicking here.

 

Sheep Dog Trial Invitational Competition & SAYFC National Sheepdog Final.

Twenty-Four top handlers will be competing in an invitation sheepdog trial which will be one of the highlights of the event. Most of the competitors from the Lothians and Borders will compete individually for the NSA Scotland Shield. The trial will be judged by Stuart McCrindle from Kilmarnock.

The Finalists have been confirmed for the Inaugural SAYFC National Sheepdog Competition, generously supported by ISDS, NSA Scotland, Logan Whistles and Gilbertson & Page. The competitors were kindly permitted to run their dogs at the Scottish Inter District nursery Association Trials and those shortlisted will now compete at the National final at NSA Scotsheep 2024.

The competition was divided into three sections according to the handler’s experience, from beginners, to handlers who had previously won ISDS points. The following Handlers were selected to run in the final having gained the highest aggregate scores - Lynn Ronaldson and Bob (Bower), Daniel Worthington and Bob (Halkirk), Donald MacDairmid and Rab (InverRoss), Ben McSporran and Cass (Peeblesshire), Harry Cooper and Roy (New Deer) & Laura Moore and Finn (Brechin)

Viewing of the sheep dog trials can be done from a dedicated viewing area in the visitor car park. 

 

Sheep Dressing Demonstration

John "Beachy" Barclay with his sons Archie and Cameron from Maybole in Ayrshire will demonstrate how to prepare sheep for a show or sale, The demonstrations will take place at 11am and 2pm. 

 

Sheep Shearing & Wool Rolling Demonstration

Supported by British Wool these sheep shearing and wool rolling demonstrations will run for 10 minutes each at 10.00am, 10.45am, 11.30am, 12.30pm & 1.30pm in building 2.   

 

Speed Shear Competition

A HUGE prize pot of £3000 is up for grabs for shearers taking part in the speed shear competition at the event. The competition which will see shearers take to the boards to shear a single sheep that has already been crutched in the fastest time they can, while also maintaining the standards expected of professional shearers. 

There will be a limit of 50 shearers from only the open and senior competition sections, so entries are still being accepted on a first come, first served basis with the possibility of entries being taken on the day depending on number of entrants forward.

 

Show & Sale Pair of Ewe Hoggs

Top-quality pairs of ewe hoggs from well-known breeders across the country will be forward for the multi-breed show judged by Robert & Hazel McNee from Tealing at 9am with the sale starting at 4pm in the Seminar Building and conducted by United Auctions. 

Nine classes will be on offer for Bluefaced Leicester, Mules, North Country Cheviot, Blackface, Suffolk, Texel, any other native breed, any other continental breed and any other cross breed, with both MV accredited and non-accredited sheep eligible for sale. 

If sheep cannot be uplifted by purchasers on the day, it is hoped that arrangements can be made for buyers to collect their purchases from the premises of the vendor within 14 days. 

 

Stockjudging

Lothian & Peeblesshire District YFC will be running an open and YFC stockjudging competition at the event, with visitors having to judge classes of sheep and cattle from Aikengall Farm. £500 of prize money is on offer and is kindly sponsored by Galloway & Macleod. The competition takes place in building 5 and entry on the day is £5. 

 

Trade Stands - Commercial & Educational

Over 160 commercial companies and educational organisations will be promoting their products and services at the event, showcasing all the latest developments in technology, husbandry, and marketing to help farmers maximise the potential of their sheep enterprises. See who’s exhibiting by clicking here.

 

Trade Stands - Individual Sheep Breeders 

Eleven individual sheep breeders and companies will be promoting their sheep and genetics at the event. See who’s exhibiting by clicking here.

 

Trade Stands - Sheep Breed Societies

Thirty Two sheep breed societies will be promoting their breed of sheep and genetics at the event. See who’s exhibiting by clicking here.

 

Workshops/Demonstrations

There are two dedicated workshop areas at the event with a range of topics and speakers providing an even better opportunity to gain practical, hands-on advice and tips. 

Workshops are slightly smaller and more informal than the seminars, with the intention of people getting involved, asking questions, and making the most of the experts on hand. See workshop topics, speakers and timetable by clicking here.

 

Wool – All Things Woolie

A dedicated area where the sheep shearing and wool rolling demonstrations are taking place will feature wool demonstrations, including excellent fleece presentation and how to maximise the value of your wool by British Wool as well as wool spinning, weaving and felt making demonstration periodically throughout the day.

Farm Tour
Trade Stands
Fencing Competition
Seminars & Workshops