The Judging

All written entries will be judged against the set criteria as outlined in the entry form by our exclusive panel of expert judges, chaired by Stuart Houston. From this three finalists in each category will be chosen.


Each of the three finalists in each category will then be interviewed to explain and discuss their entry further. Finalists in the indoor and outdoor producer of the year award will also be visited on-site by our judges to determine the winner.

Who are the Judges


Stewart Houston 

Non Exec member of the Food Standards Agency (FSA) Board and Defra’s Animal Health and Welfare Board England (AHWBE).

David Owers

David won the inaugural National Pig Awards-Single Site Producer of the year in 2014 . He runs a 700 Sow Farrow to finish unit in Lincolnshire selling over 30 Pigs/Sow/Year . He said it is inspiring to see the high standard of entrants we have seen in previous years.

Steve Dunkley 

Steve has worked for AHDB since 2010, joining the beef and lamb team as senior regional manager in the north east, before taking up the role of Head of Knowledge Exchange for Pork in Oct 2017.  From a family farm in Yorkshire, Steve studied at Askham Bryan College and has worked in agri-food consultancy and in RDPE grant delivery.  His current role includes managing a team of 11 staff, who deliver AHDB  ‘Farm Excellence’ activities such as Strategic Farms, Discussion Group and Technical Events as well as the production of technical tools and resources, and coordinating the Horizon 2020 funded EUPiG project where AHDB lead a consortium of 19 organisations across 13 countries to identify innovative practices and disseminate the findings.

John Lewis, Chairman of Lewis Business Media

John Lewis is the founder and Chairman of Lewis Business Media, owners of Pig World magazine. Over the course of a business publishing career lasting 40 years, he has organised and judged many awards schemes in several different markets. In addition to being a current judge of The National Pig Awards, John has also chaired the judging panel of the National SQP awards for the last 2 years.

Charlotte Evans, National Pig Technical Advisor for ForFarmers. 

Dr Charlotte Evans is the National Pig Technical Advisor for ForFarmers. Charlotte provides nutritional solutions and farm management advice to pig producers across the UK. She is passionate about direct practical application of new nutritional knowledge and ideas on to farm and has a keen interest in innovation and feeding for optimum health. She is a 2018 Nuffield Scholar and has lots of travel planned for this year but has committed to planning her travels around judging the best of British pig farming for the National Pig Awards!

Lizzie Wilson, The National Pig Association Policy Services Officer

The NPA’s policy services officer, Lizzie Wilson, has worked in the UK pig industry for 15 years.  While much of her time is spent liaising with government on planning and environmental legislation or battling the increasing tide of animal rights activism and anti-farming rhetoric, as a farmer’s daughter and a former employee of BQP and Elanco, she has a thorough grounding in practical pig production. All of which makes her ideally suited to judge the National Pig Award candidates.

Steve Blaken of H&C Blaken & Son Ltd, Winner of Indoor Producer of the Year 2017

Steve was named Indoor Producer of the Year at last year’s National Pig Awards and we are delighted that, with his wealth of industry knowledge, he has agreed to join the judging panel. He has worked in the sector for over 50 years and has seen many changes over this time. His business, H&C Blaken & Son Ltd, is based near Ripon in North Yorkshire.

Duncan Berkshire, Partner in Bishopton Veterinary Group and President of the Pig Veterinary Society

Duncan joined the pig department at Bishopton in 2009 having previously worked extensively with pigs in Yorkshire since graduation. He qualified from Cambridge Vet School in 2004 and obtained his Masters in Livestock Health and Production with the Royal Veterinary College while in practice. Duncan also holds the RCVS Certificate in Pig Medicine. Improving herd health and reproductive physiology are particular areas of interest, along with farm based investigations to introduce preventative medicine programmes on unit. He is currently President of the Pig Veterinary Society.

When not immersed in the world of pigs, Duncan enjoys throwing himself down mountains on skis, and training other people to do the same thing.