1 Nov 2011

Young shepherds converge for world-first challenge

6:30 am on 1 November 2011

Young shepherds from all around the world will demonstrate their sheep-farming skills in a world-first international event in Oamaru on Tuesday.

Twenty-two contestants aged between 18 and 25 from 10 sheep-producing countries have entered the World Young Shepherds Challenge.

The competition came out of an international sheepmeat forum in Brussels in 2009, which aimed to address falling sheepmeat consumption and production at the time, and build relationships among those in the sector.

Beef + Lamb New Zealand and Young Farmers have developed a two-day competition that includes shearing, constructing a permanent fence and navigating a quad-bike obstacle course.

The winner will receive a $15,000 scholarship.

Contestants have come from Argentina, Australia, Britain, France, Ireland, the United States and Uruguay.