A memorable, sell out NSA Welsh Sheep 2015

A sell out crowd, overflowing car parks, plenty of good cheer and a wonderful venue meant that NSA Welsh Sheep 2015 was a truly memorable event. Jointly hosted by Geraint and Morton Powell and their families, the day showcased some of the finest livestock farming Wales has to offer.

Trade stands, show areas and seminars were packed and the rainclouds were enough to enable farmers to leave their work at home, while the intermittent spells of sunshine lifted spirits. The organisers were well pleased with a day that has become one of the highlights of the UK farming calendar.

NSA Cymru Chairman, Paul Wozencraft said: “We had an extraordinarily large attendance. The weather was a bit unkind in the morning, but we managed to park everyone up which was a big achievement.

“The stewards and all the helpers were exceptional. The event as a whole was absolutely fantastic, the atmosphere was buzzing, and we appreciate the Powells for letting us stage it here.”

Mr Wozencraft, who farms near Rhayader, said the central location had contributed to the success of the event. It had been ideal to locate it in Mid Wales, so pulling in people from all over Wales and beyond.

Event organiser Helen Davies added that it had been the best ever NSA Welsh Sheep, with record crowds and trade attendance. She wanted to send a big Thank You to the sponsors and to the host farmers. The weather had added to the pressure, but had a positive affect the gate.

The event was opened by Livestock Auctioneers Association Chairman, Chris Dodds, who voiced concern over the effects of devolution on livestock trading. He also stressed the critical need for competition in the red meat industry.

He said: “One thing that a lot of farmers both in England and Wales are concerned about is the devolved governments drifting apart and making slightly different rules and regulations about sheep and cattle.

“And there are issues such as EID and bovine TB for cattle where we’ve got very clear differences between the WAG stance and DEFRA’s stance. I believe that we as auctioneers and the NSA as the sheep organisation representative body have a big part, an important part to play in pushing governments to try and implement regulations that have similar consequences on both sides of the border.

“We cannot, as an industry, have a situation where it is difficult to trade between England and Wales, simply because our governments want to introduce small, but very important, tweaks to their decision making.”

Generally, Mr Dodds said he was very optimistic about the sheep trade and confident that exports would remain strong, even though it was heavily dependent on the exchange rate. The French had just the dearest trade ever, as had the Dutch and the Belgians.

It was, though, critical to retain competition as the growing power of the supermarkets concerned him. He warned that they already had a lot of power in the beef trade.

He added: “I think it’s up to us as an industry that we manage to maintain the open, transparent and competitiveness that we have within our red meat sector. Approximately a third of all our sheep are exported as carcases, one third are consumed by the ethnic trade and the other third go into the supermarkets and larger retailers.

“I genuinely believe that the market system offers you that and that we need to use it.”


The Ready Steady Cook Competition was won by host farmer, Geraint Powell.

Young Shepherd Competition: First Bleddyn Pugh, Llandrindod Wells; Second Aled Jones, Builth Wells; Third Arran Johnson, Machynlleth.

The first ewe hogg show and sale was a huge success. The winners of the various classes were: Upland: Llandovery white Face, shown by Wendy Morgan of Llanddeusant; Lowland: Blue Faced Leicester, shown by GP Williams & Co, Abergele; Continentals: Texels, shown by A B Bennett.

The highest price at the Hogg sale was achieved by David Pittendreigh, who had 580 guineas for his pair of North Country Cheviots, followed by John Price who had 500 guineas for his pair of Suffolks.

The Best Indoor Trade Stand was won by the Campaign for Wool, the Best Outdoor Trade Stand was on by Charlies Coed y Dinas. The wool on the hoof competition was taken by Penny Chandler with a Romney and the Breed Society trophy was taken by the Welsh Mules.

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