The National Pig Awards have once again highlighted the fantastic work being done by individuals and businesses across the pig sector. Congratulations to all our winners and, indeed, all those shortlisted, who are setting a great example for others to follow.
PIG producer of the Year
Wayland Farms is one of the country’s most impressive and progressive pig businesses. Winner of the outdoor award, it has gone one further this year to be named overall pig producer of the year. It is very much a holistic approach with excellent production figures across its outdoor units, which supply high quality products to Cranswick, with a strong focus on pig health, minimal antibiotic use, pig welfare, environmental enhancement, energy efficiency, reducing wastage and staff training and development. A deserved winner.
INDOOR PIG PRODUCER of the Year
Bridge House Farm
Bridge House Farm is a nucleus unit that has thrived since teaming with Canadian genetics company Genesus in 2017. They are producing superb results using Large Whites and Duroc stock. Judges agreed that there’s a lot the industry could learn from the intelligent use of data recording carried on in the herd, using UHF EID backed up by easy read tags. Global demad for its stock is growing including its first consignment to China this year.
OUTDOOR PIG PRODUCER of the Year
Judges were impressed with a series of innovative projects the company has initiated, ranging from full use of a carbon footprinting tool, to partnering with another company on a rapid result penside test for PRRS. Wayland also monitors water use and use tracking systems for lone workers and transport.
finisher of the Year
Paul Howland, MP & PM Howland
Paul demonstrates a real drive and commitment to ensure he achieves an exceptional level of performance, which is testament to his focus on animal welfare and small pigs in particular, as well as the introduction of new methods and technologies. Judges were particularly impressed by Paul’s high standards of care and unwavering work ethic.
Herd Productivity Award
R & C Mellor
Richard Mellor, who runs an outdoor unit on a three-week batch production system in Norfolk, has achieved phenomenal figures well above the top 10% outdoor average, including 29.3 pigs weaned/sow/year, 13.4 born alive, 12.1 weaned/litter with a farrowing rate in excess of 95.3%, up from 93.7% last year. And since Chloe, his daughter, took over the serving of gilts, things have got even better with the last batch of gilts achieving 14.5 born alive.
Innovation of the Year
White Syke Farm, labour saving devices
Matt and his team have very impressively pulled apart different freedom farrowing crate designs and developed their own, with a focus on the whole package: from the pen layout, drinkers and flooring to light, They have developed a system that is optimised for pigs and humans alike, and will turn their attention to ventilation next!
MARKETING INITIATIVE OF THE YEAR
Cwm Farm Charcuterie Products
Built up from a “poacher’s pantry” cooking up meat for locals, Cwmfarm Charcuterie Products is now focusing on everything Welsh from their rare breed pigs. You might have heard her singing “Buy a little salami off me!” on twitter!
NPA ALLIED MEMBER OF THE YEAR
Yorkshire Farmers Livestock Marketing
Yorkshire Farmers is a well-known name in the pig sector, ‘run by farmers for the benefit of farmers’. Its primary aim has always been to get the best return for stock for its trading members and it plays an active role in promoting British meat products to the end customer and it now offers an increasing range of services and advice to farmers, covering all aspects of production.
PEDIGREE BREEDER OF THE YEAR
Ron Fieldhouse, R.W Fieldhouse
Ron has bred pigs all his life – and breeds three of our rarest breeds, ensuring genetic diversity and demonstrating a commitment to biosecurity. He also demonstrates the link between keeping pigs and eating them in order to conserve them – working with the supply chain and butchers to get rare breed meat out to the public.
SPECIAL ACHIEVEMENT OF THE YEAR
Lee Thompson, Wayland Farms
Lee’s ‘Flat White Chat’ podcasts, along with his website, have done a great deal to raise the profile of mental health in the agriculture sector. He has used his own mental health journey to illustrate problems which can occur in our industry and shared it with as many people as possible. Lee is very articulate about these issues, using the mantra: ‘if you think about something for 48 hours then you need to deal with it’
STOCKMAN OF THE YEAR
Dawid Wawrowski, Karro Food Group
Dawid has been in pigs for four years and he is achieving excellent results, is hungry to learn and improve is always available for extra overtime and is highly valued by his area and unit managers.
trainee of the year
Susanne Mustard, Karro Food Group
Having completed Karro’s senior stock worker and unit manager courses, coupled with her Glasgow University degree in Veterinary Bioscience, Susanne took over the management of a 1000 sow outdoor unit, where her training and enthusiasm quickly resulted in significant improvement in the unit’s KPIs.
UNIT MANAGER OF THE YEAR
Iwona Rosa, Norfolk Free Range
Iwona has an engaging personality and she lives and breathes the support she gives to her team. The end result is a record performance from the GP herd she manages, which has resulted in Norfolk Free Range Ltd restocking three breeding units per year instead of two. The judges will long remember her quote: “I want to be the manager I would want to work with!”
YOUNG FARM VET OF THE YEAR
Max Wood, Larkmead Veterinary Group
The judging panel agreed that Max’s enthusiasm, commitment to the pig sector and a real desire to help clients improve, even in challenging circumstances, all shone through, alongside a very personable and professional approach to his work.
YOUNG PIG FARMER OF THE YEAR
Josh Brewster, North Farm Livestock
Josh has done things the hard way – leaving school at 16 and starting as an apprentice/ trainee before completing his AHDB Stockman and Stockman+ courses and is now on AHDB Management and Development within four years of starting. He now manages a 1,200-sow unit for North Farm Livestock.