NLSBA Members Visit UK Lincoln Breeders

by Site Admin on November 4, 2016

Members of the National Lincoln Sheep Breeder’s Association headed to the United Kingdom in September to meet with breeders and tour the countryside. The trip was held September 23rd to 30th and 18 breeders from coast to coast attended. This the third time the trip was held and provided a great opportunity to network with UK breeders and learn about their genetics and grazing practices.

The first day was spent touring the historical city of York, complete with Yorkshire Pudding and beer. On Sunday 9/25, we headed to the small town of Masham to watch their sheep show at the Masham Sheep Fair. Rod Dart from Illinois had the opportunity to judge the Lincoln show!

The next several days were spent visiting flocks in Lincolnshire and Leistershire. We visited Martyn Robinson’s flock in North Lincolnshire. He has a commercial flock of 300 ewes and a breeding flock of Lincolns. We also visited Keith & Ro Harding’s Swepstone Lincoln Longwool flock in Leicester. Keith has nearly 50 Lincolns and also raises British White cattle. Chris and Steve Higgins also joined us at the Harding’s with some of their “Shadow” (Natural Colored) Lincolns. Each flock visit included a judging contest followed by an afternoon of tea, scones and delightful conversation.

While there, we also had the opportunity to visit the Melton Mowbray Market where over 4,000 sheep were being auctioned for meat, for finishing and even as breeding groups. On Wednesday 9/28, we visited the British Wool Marketing Board where over 90% of all the wool produced in the UK is marketed! This was truly an eye opening experience for everyone in the group, as we do not have any structure like this in the states!

Our trip concluded with a visit to the iconic Risby Flock of Lincoln Longwools. Along with another judging contest, wonderful cheeses and a pig roast, we were treated with gorgeous views of Lincolnshire and surrounding landscape. This area is where Lincolns truly originated.

This trip provided an amazing opportunity to learn the history of our breed, network with breeders from the UK, and tour the county with like-minded people. Stay tuned for a more detailed summary of the trip in an upcoming newsletter!

Examinging the Steve Higgin's Shadow flock
Group shot at Martyn and Ro's
Harvey Warrick (MI) in his famous Lincoln wig at the Masham Sheep Festival
Lunchtime at the Melton Mowbray Market
Maryn Robinson's flock of Lincoln ewes
Our group and some friends at the Risby Flock
Our group and tour guides at the British Wool Marketing Board
Rod Dart (IL), Keith Harding (UK) and Emmaline Long (NY) with the champion ram at the Masham Sheep Fair
Sheep for auction at the Melton Mowbray Market
Touring the skirting facilities at the British Wool Marketing Board

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