With New Year over and scanning in full swing, lots of people’s thoughts turn to lambing time and the Mule lamb cycle starting again.

We’re all full of hope that the new tup we bought proves to be a bargain and sets us up for a successful year but it’s also time to reflect on the past 12 months and what we can do better….too many prolapses ?….should have weaned those better lambs a week earlier ?….dip colour could have been darker ?

It’s the same with NEMSA really. Compared to some of our competitors we have a very limited budget but we try to spend it wisely promoting and publicising the North of England Mule – that’s what we’re here for after all.

It doesn’t mean we can rest on our laurels however and we’re constantly striving to do the best job we can for you, the members. We try to target sales adverts in the right papers at the right time, improve the look of the stand with new pens and pictures and a huge amount of work goes on behind the scenes trying to find top quality sheep to take to events.

If any of you have ideas of what you’d like to see us do then come along to your branch meetings and give them an airing.

A big thank you is due to all who helped last year in sourcing and lending sheep – your help is much appreciated as there is no better advert for us than quality stock for potential buyers to see. Thanks also to those who took time to attend, set up and man the stand at the various events we attended.

Another big thank you goes to our Secretary, Marion, whose organisational skill and levelheaded common sense keeps us on the right track. She has tried to modernise us by raising NEMSA’s profile hugely via our website/Facebook/Twitter and is a big asset to our Association.

Considering the real seasonal slump in fat lamb prices at the worst possible time, most breeders were happy with the ewe lamb trade being similar or slightly down on 2013…..helped by a much better shearling trade. I’m sure NEMSA’s promotional work helped in this and the drip, drip message that the North of England Mule is still the most prolific, milky, profitable and easily managed lowland ewe is effective. Have a good lambing – and good luck with that tup!

Martyn Archer