Two farmers have won a new travel bursary designed to open the door to overseas sheep farming explorations.
Selected from a high calibre group of short-listed applicants, Marie Prebble from Kent and Charlotte Beaty from Warwickshire are now beginning to firm up travel plans.
The National Sheep Association (NSA) and the Merchant of the Staple of England (The Staple) announced the two successful recipients.
Both have won the NSA Samuel Wharry travel bursaries, worth £2,750 each.
Marie, who farms 550 Romney breeding ewes in Kent, is planning on using her bursary to travel to Norway and Iceland.
It follows a trip to compete at the world shearing championships in France with shearing and sheep welfare central to her journey.
Marie says: “I am looking forward to putting my environmental sciences background to great use in studying 'practical considerations for welfare during shearing in the Northern Hemisphere' by connecting animal, social and environmental sciences with their practical applications on farm.”
The second recipient, Charlotte Beaty, farms 300 North Country Mules in Warwickshire alongside an arable and beef enterprise.
She is planning on travelling to New Zealand to explore ways of improving grassland management.
Charlotte explains: “With the current uncertainty facing the UK sheep industry I feel that sheep farmers should be looking to lower production costs by maximising the potential of the cheapest feed available to them – grass.
“I have chosen to travel to New Zealand as I don’t believe grassland management can be seen better in any other country.”
The bursary is named in memory of NSA Chairman Samuel Wharry, who passed away suddenly in 2017. He was an advocate for the application of science and technology on farm.
Marie and Charlie both plan to set off for their information-gathering trips later in 2019 and will report back later on with their findings.