A YOUNG Aberdeenshire farmer is in line for a trip of a lifetime after winning a competition to assess sheep husbandry skills.
Inverurie-based Gregor Ingram emerged as one of two winners of the NSA Scotland Young Shepherd competition which took place at Oatridge College near Edinburgh last week.
Gregor (22) from Logie Durno, Pitcaple, Inverurie will be joined by Borders-based David Gray (25).
The delighted pair are now bound for the world championships being staged in the Canterbury region, South Island, New Zealand in November 2011.
Competitors from the length and breadth of Scotland, who had to be 20 – 25 to be eligible, were challenged to display their sheep knowledge and skills in seven key areas at this week’s event.
Each entrant was required to grade finished lambs, demonstrate handling tasks such as foot pairing, shearing, vaccinating and dosing techniques, along with stock judging. hey were also questioned on flock management and health issues.
The winners’ trip to New Zealand is being supported by sponsors including the National Sheep Association, the Blackface Sheep Breeders Association, British Wool Marketing Board, Quality Meat Scotland and The Cameron Travel Scholarship Trust.
“Our thanks to Oatridge College for hosting the NSA Scotland Young Shepherd Competition and to all the sponsors helping to fund the trip to New Zealand,” said NSA Development Officer for Scotland, George Milne.
Mr Milne pointed out the importance of encouraging young people to consider careers in livestock farming, saying one of the biggest challenges faced by the sheep industry is recruiting skilled staff.
“Gregor and David are great examples of the enthusiastic and talented young people we have working in the industry.”