The Judging

The Process

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. Shortlisted entrants into Trainee of the Year will be invited for an interview in London.

Who are the Judges?

Chair of Judges, Stewart Houston 

A member of Defra’s Pig Core Group 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

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

Dr Charlotte Evans is the National Pig Technical Advisor for ForFarmers. In 2009 Charlotte gained a PhD specialising in infectious diseases in pigs and then worked on a local 1000 sow pig unit before joining BPEX (later AHDB), where she worked for 8 years. Within ForFarmers, Charlottes role is to provide nutritional solutions and farm management advice to UK pig producers. She is passionate about the practical application of new nutritional knowledge and has a keen interest in innovation and new technology.

Lizzie Wilson

The NPA’s policy services officer, Lizzie Wilson, has worked in the UK pig industry for 16 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.

Richard Pearson

Richard Pearson is President of Pig Veterinary Society and also chairs the society’s Medicines sub-group. He has been a practising pig vet for more than 25 years in the South West of England at George Vet Group

Jane Mathews 

I was elected as Chairwoman of the British Pig Association in 2018, having served as a breed representative for 6 years, and chaired the Pork and Education Committee. Brought up on a dairy farm, with a small herd of pigs and sheep, I am still involved in the family farm and pedigree Ayrshire herd. I am passionate about preserving and conserving our livestock industry, and particularly our traditional and rare breeds. I have bred pedigree pigs for 12 years but have always been involved in the livestock sector.






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