JEREMY Eaton. auctioneer and general manager of Skipton-based Craven Cattle Marts has been honoured with a lifetime achievement award by the Northern Region of the National Sheep Association (NSA).

The TI Allinson Memorial Award was presented by retiring NSA Northern Region chairman Eddie Eastham at the annual members meeting at The Hired Lad, Penrith Mart on Wednesday.

The award is presented annually to someone who is recognised as giving a considerable contribution to the northern sheep industry. Mr Eaton, who has worked for the mart for 37 years, was nominated by NSA member Geoff Lawn of Skipton.

He said Mr Eaton had instigated stepping back from deadweight selling of lambs to re-establish a very successful live lamb selling market, which also saw what was considered at the time a 'bold move' from selling off the boards to selling through the ring. "This was to the benefit of the farmers in the area and the auction," said Mr Lawn.

He also highlighted Mr Eaton’s assistance provided during and after the harrowing year of 2001 when Foot and Mouth caused much heartache in the local agricultural community.

During the more formal part of the meeting outgoing chairman Mr Eastham reported on a chaotic 12 months for the sheep industry, from the adverse weather to Brexit and everything in between. NSA Northern Region treasurer Ted Ogden, who also works at Skipton Auction Mart as livestock sales manager and auctioneer, reported on a stable year with the region’s accounts.

Both noted that 2019 sees the much anticipated biennial event of NSA North Sheep that will be held at the Frankland family’s New Hall Farm in Rathmell, North Yorkshire on Wednesday, June 5.

Thomas Carrick, of Alston, was elected as NSA Northern Region chairman; Matt Bagley, head of agriculture at Newton Rigg college, as vice chairman; and Ted Ogden re-elected as treasurer. The region continues to be represented on the NSA English Committee by Eddie Eastham of Carlisle, Thomas Carrick and Greg Dalton of Bishop Auckland, while John Geldard of Kendal, remains the regional Trustee on the Board at NSA.