The Shetland Sheep Society Limited is a Company Limited by Guarantee (14482173) incorporated on 14th November 2022. Prior to this we operated from 1985 as an unincorporated Society, The Shetland Sheep Breeders Group, and then from 2002 as The Shetland Sheep Society.
We are a friendly society with many experienced breeders willing to give new shepherds a helping hand and gentle advice.
Members are actively encouraged to get involved in the running of the Society, especially on a local basis with regional workshops, ram gatherings, social events, manning stands at wool shows and more.
The Annual General Meeting also allows members to have their say on a more formal basis and put forward resolutions that may help the Society and the breed in the future.
The Shetland Sheep Society is governed by a Memorandum & Articles of Association and is run by the combined efforts of an elected Board of Directors, a network of Area Representatives, and a large number of committed volunteers who generously give up their time in support of the breed (without whom we could not do the work we do).
Board of Directors
A Board of Directors of up to eleven members plus officers are elected from within the membership to look after the day to day affairs of the society and make strategic decisions about its future in accordance with the governing Articles.
Each Board member serves an initial term of 3 years and can be re-elected for a second term. Members are invited to put their names forward each year to fill any vacant positions. Elections take place at the AGM, which is usually held in September or October.
The positions of Secretary and Treasurer are appointed by the Board annually. A vice-chair is chosen by the Board at the first meeting after the AGM and must be a current Board member.
The individual contact details of Board members can be found on the inside front cover of the quarterly newsletter or in the Members section of the website.
The Shetland Sheep Society is supported by a team of Area Representatives who are on hand to welcome and assist new members and to provide an on-going co-ordination role in their region. The individual contact details of Area Representatives can be found on the inside front cover of the quarterly newsletter.
Judges and Inspectors Panel
Shetland Sheep Society judges and ram inspectors are appointed by the Judges & Inspectors Panel (J&IP) and are reviewed every four years. Judges are vital to the Society for their role in maintaining breed standards at shows all over the country.
Any member of the Society may apply to become a trainee ram inspector, if they fulfil the necessary criteria. Once successful as a ram Inspector, they may then go on to become a judge.
Ram inspections play a key role in upholding the 1927 Breed Standard and members are strongly encouraged to have their rams inspected. Inspectors also have an important role at all the Society supported sales where all registered sheep will be inspected prior to the sale.
In addition the J&IP help to maintain an appropriate level of judging at all Society supported shows.
The Wool Group
Wool is such an important element of our breed that a Wool group was written into our Byelaws. The Board appoints a Group to be responsible for all matters relating to Wool within the Society: the Shetland Sheep Society Wool Group (SSSWG).
There are six members of the group and a Board representative making seven in total placed around the country so that all regions and ideas can be represented. They help to organise SSS stands at Wool events and support members to maintain the wool quality of the national flock on the mainland of the UK. In addition they support fleece education along with fleece and craft competitions.
They have responsibility for the ‘Russo Archive’ which is a collection of knitted items of one of our past members, Sue Russo and exemplifies the amazing qualities of Shetland Wool.
The Marketing Group
The marketing group contains volunteers from across the UK to ensure that all regions and ideas can be represented. They help to organise SSS stands at NSA (National Sheep Association) events and produce articles and marketing materials to educate and support members in the promotion of their sheep.