Applications open today for a new travel bursary for enthusiastic and aspirational young sheep farmers. The National Sheep Association (NSA) and the Company of Merchants of the Staple of England (the Staple) are jointly offering an exciting new award which will enable two young farmers to study a topic that interests them within the area of science in sheep production in a destination of their choice.

Entitled The Samuel Wharry Memorial Award for the Next Generation, the two offered bursaries of £2,750 are available to applicants aged between 21 and 34.

Samuel Wharry was NSA chairman when he died suddenly in May 2017, aged just 56. He was an advocate of science and technology, particularly relating to genetics, during his many years breeding Blackface sheep.

The new award being offered will ensure a legacy for what he stood for and a boost for young sheep farmers.

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The new award being offered will ensure a legacy for Samuel Wharry

Joanne Briggs, NSA operations director said: “Sam’s enthusiasm, curiosity and practical nature will live on through these travel bursaries. They are an incredible opportunity for two individuals involved in the UK sheep sector or ancillary industries to receive £2,750 each to design separate trips suited to their own situation.

"Having identified a subject they want to learn about, they can travel wherever they wish, pick up as much information as possible and then share their findings.

“Applications are online and involve young people answering a series of simple questions about the topic they want to study, why its relevant to them and the UK sheep sector, and where they want to go in the world. Support and mentoring will be offered to the two successful applicants, so all anyone needs at this stage is a good idea and plenty of enthusiasm.”

Stephen Fell of The Staple added: “We are very pleased to work together with NSA to offer these two bursaries, providing two young sheep enthusiasts the opportunity to achieve their ambitions to travel while also viewing exciting sheep enterprises to the benefit of their own career/business and the wider sheep sector.

"We hope it will offer young sheep farmers support and inspiration to discover the important roles that science and technology now play in the improvement of the worldwide sheep flock.”

Applications are open now and will close at midnight on Monday 22 April, with shortlisted candidates informed shortly afterwards and invited for an informal interview with an industry selection panel.

How to apply