Due to the continued uncertainties and restrictions caused by COVID-19, the National Sheep Association’s Scottish executive committee has taken the regrettable decision to postpone NSA Scotsheep, which was due to take place on Thursday, May 27, 2021.
Following a Zoom meeting with the NSA Scotsheep organising committee, the event has now been rescheduled for a further year and will take place on Wednesday, June 1, 2022 by kind permission of Robert and Hazel McNee, Over Finlarg, Tealing, Dundee.
Organisers of the event believe that restrictions on social distancing and mass gatherings will be in force for the considerable future and so have decided to focus their efforts on planning a rescheduled event for next summer.
Jennifer Craig, NSA Scotland chair, said: “We are really disappointed to have to postpone NSA Scotsheep until next June, as plans for the event were well advanced. With no signs of restrictions easing and cases still rising, our main priority is the health and wellbeing of our visitors, exhibitors and those involved in the running of the event.
“It was important to come to a firm decision sooner rather than later to avoid impacting Robert and Hazel’s farming calendar.
“Postponing NSA Scotsheep will have a severe impact on NSA Scotland financially however, through the continued support of our many sponsors and trade exhibitors, we hope to deliver a full-scale event for the sheep industry in Scotland and further afield.”
Organised by the Scottish region of the National Sheep Association, the re-scheduled NSA Scotsheep 2020 will now be held on Wednesday, June 1, 2022, at Over Finlarg, Tealing, where Robert and Hazel McNee, have built up a profitable business since moving to the farm in 2011.
While the farm extends to 740 acres, the McNees also graze 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 McNees lamb 1100 head each year, comprising 600 hill-type North Country Cheviot ewes of which 200 are bred pure and the remaining crossed to the Bluefaced Leicester for producing Cheviot Mules.
Some 200 Blackface ewes are crossed with home-bred crossing-type Bluefaced Leicesters to produce Scotch Mules, with the result then tupped to the Texel and sold as hoggs with lambs at foot.
Cheviot Mules are also sold through the sale ring as gimmers the following year.
Robert and Hazel also run 100 pure Texels and pedigree Bluefaced Leicesters for breeding tups for home use and shearlings for the commercial market.
Male lambs are finished on farm and sold deadweight, while ewe lambs are mainly sold on for breeding where they regularly command premium prices in the sale ring.
The farm also supports a well-known beef enterprise of 180 pedigree cows including 100 Luings, 60 Limousins, 12 Simmentals and eight Charolais.
The event will feature a farm tour, over 200 commercial, sheep breed society, individual breeder and farmers market and craft stands, competitions, working demonstrations seminars, show and sale of pairs of ewe hoggs etc.
In 2018 the event was held at Kings Arms farm, Ballantrae (Robert & Caroline Dalrymple), 2016 – Blythbank, West Linton (Glenrath Farms Ltd), 2014 – Quixwood, Berwickshire (Macfarlane Farms Ltd) and in 2012 at the Morrison Farm at Dumfries House.
Further details will be posted as and when various activities have been put in place by the organising committee.