AHDB Beef & Lamb is working with the British Institute of Agricultural Consultants (BIAC) to deliver the Developing Sheep Expertise programme, offering continuous professional development (CPD) to consultants and advisers who want to expand their sheep knowledge.

The scheme has been launched following the success of the Developing Beef Expertise group, which has been running since December 2015.

The programme consists of five meetings which will be held from November 2016 and run through to November 2017. The events will cover breeding, health and fertility, feed and forage, selection for slaughter and business improvements.

Nerys Wright, AHDB knowledge exchange manager and one of the programme coordinators, said: “We want to build on the success of the beef expertise group and extend the programme to the sheep industry. The objectives are to ensure well-trained and experienced consultants and advisers continue to be available to the sheep industry.

“The Developing Sheep Expertise programme will produce a group of trained consultants and advisers that can be called upon to deliver at AHDB Beef & Lamb events and help develop written material.

“In addition, it is a great way of informing key people in the industry on the tools and technical information available from AHDB Beef & Lamb.”

Consultants, advisers, vets and industry representatives are encouraged to apply to join the group and it is open to people who aren’t members of BIAC.

Sheep meetingLiz Genever said “The second meeting of the DSE group followed on quickly from the first meeting to avoid the busy lambing period.  The group went down to Mount Vets near Cullompton in Devon to take part in a post-mortem session run by Alasdair Winearls, which involved a discussion on how the members of groups, whether vets or consultants, use health data with their clients.  The group shared techniques during the practical session and identified a lamb that had died due to strangulation in an electric fence.

The group also heard the results from a recent AHDB Beef & Lamb funded project conducted by Emily Gascoigne of Synergy on encouraging producers to post-mortem young lambs to understand how losses can be reduced.  There was some discussion on the recent results from the producer-focussed post-mortem scheme based at a Fallen Stock Collection Centre in County Durham  plus the data from the new Sheep Health and Welfare Group report .

Developing sheep expertise meetingDuring the second day, there was a group discussion about how to engage clients with benchmarking. David Pett, AHDB’s regional benchmarking officer, discussed Stocktake Lite and Farmbench and how the group could engage with these tools with their clients.  There was a lot of discussion on how to get quality data from farms and how to get producers to recognise the value of the data and time needed to analyse it.

The final session was Pete Bone from Ruminant Mineral Consultancy answering the group’s questions on how to diagnose and treat mineral deficiencies.  He also discussed the various sources of minerals in diets and the care that is needed to avoid toxicities.

This meeting had a very positive feel about it and the group seem to be enjoying the opportunity to meet with other people who enjoying working with sheep producers.

Sheep body condition scoringThe third DSE meeting took place at the University of Lancaster on the 3rd and 4th of May. Day one began with James Hadwin’s approach to consultancy, including discussion on the role of a consultant and the challenges they face in the industry, before visiting a local farm to demonstrate improvements that have been made with the support of consultants. The day finished with a workshop on body condition scoring with Lesley Stubbings.

The second day began with presentations from DSE members on some of their experiences of developing health plans and included discussion and advice from other members on topics such as Maedi Visna and lameness. This was followed by a presentation by Lesley on the results of the sheep KPI project. The final session concentrated on parasite control with thoughts on the success of SCOPS and potential for improvement in the future followed by case studies of worm control, where groups provided solutions to challenging issues they may face on farms.

Throughout the meeting members appeared engaged and contributed to lively and productive discussion on a variety of issues, including challenges to the industry, health plans and parasite resistance.

The fourth DSE meeting will take place on the 6th-7th of September in County Durham and will include discussion with Ian Cairns on understanding financial performance and a farm walk with focusing on grassland management. On day two, Fiona Lovatt will cover managing sheep as they enter the flock, iceberg diseases and responsible use of antibiotics.

Developing sheep expertise members

 

 Name  Role  Contact details and area
 Caroline Abbott

Caroline Abbott

Vet  Email: moc.t1498225401evnog1498225401arap@1498225401ttobb1498225401a.eni1498225401lorac1498225401

Cumbria

 

Carroll Barber

Caroll Barber

Consultant  Email: ku.oc1498225401.snoi1498225401tulos1498225401serec1498225401@llor1498225401rac1498225401

Norfolk

Chantel Bryant

Chantal Bryant

 Vet  Email: ku.oc1498225401.redn1498225401oyeul1498225401b@99b1498225401mc1498225401

Derbyshire

 Steven Carragher

Steven Carragher

 Vet

 Email: ku.oc1498225401.stev1498225401airbm1498225401uhtro1498225401nla@r1498225401ehgar1498225401rac.n1498225401evets1498225401

Northumberland

James Patrick Crilly

James Patrick Crilly

 Vet  Email: ku.oc1498225401.liam1498225401toh@y1498225401llirc1498225401.pj1498225401

Somerset

 Rachel Forster

Rachel Forster

Vet  Email: ku.oc1498225401.stev1498225401tekra1498225401m@leh1498225401car1498225401

Devon

Emily Gascoigne

Emily Gascoigne

Vet

 Email: moc.h1498225401tlaeh1498225401mrafy1498225401greny1498225401s@eng1498225401iocsa1498225401g.yli1498225401me1498225401

Dorset

 Davinia Hinde

Davinia Hinde

Vet  Email: ku.oc1498225401.stev1498225401egdir1498225401bniab1498225401@aini1498225401vad1498225401

North Yorkshire

 Hannah Kenway

Hannah Kenway

Vet  Email: moc.l1498225401iamg@1498225401yawne1498225401khann1498225401ah1498225401

Isle of  Wight

 Rosie Miller

Rosie Miller

Advisor  Email: moc.n1498225401oitir1498225401tunwu1498225401ort@r1498225401ellim1498225401.eiso1498225401r1498225401

Derbyshire

 Phillipa Page

Phillipa Page

 Vet  Email: moc.l1498225401iamto1498225401h@dro1498225401lapil1498225401lihp1498225401

Gloucestershire

 

Benjamin Pullen

Benjamin Pullen

 Vet  Email: ku.oc1498225401.ooha1498225401y@40014982254012tev_1498225401cnd1498225401

Somerset

Kate Peissel

Kate Peissel

 Vet  Email: ku.oc1498225401.stev1498225401rabts1498225401ew@pe1498225401tak1498225401

Oxfordshire

 Dr Asif Rao

Dr Asif Rao

 Consultant  Email: ku.oc1498225401.sbma1498225401lytil1498225401auqor1498225401ue@fi1498225401sa1498225401

Shropshire

 Karen Wheeler

Karen Wheeler

 Consultant  Email: ku.oc1498225401.sada1498225401@rele1498225401ehw.n1498225401erak1498225401

Herefordshire

Shona Young

Shona Young

 Vet

 Email: ku.oc1498225401.stev1498225401mraft1498225401niopt1498225401sew@g1498225401nuoy.1498225401anohs1498225401

East Sussex