Pedigree Breeder of the Year
Ron Fieldhouse, RW Fieldhouse
The Pedigree Breeder of the Year Award is a ‘great honour’ that reflects a long-time dedication to native breeds, according to the new holder of that title, Ron Fieldhouse.
His North Yorkshire herd was started in 1977 by his father and mainly consists today of Large Whites and Berkshires, although he has kept some Landrace. All the litters are purebred, with an average litter size of 12-14, and he farrows twice a year, in January and July.
He is a familiar face around the show
circuit, with around 20 breeding show pigs, and has done much to promote the pedigree sector and the industry more widely. He has been an area rep for the British Pig Association and sat on its show and conservation committees, as well as working alongside the BPA’s junior pig club, encouraging more youngsters into the industry.
He usually helps out in the education centre at the Great Yorkshire Show, where the junior pig club puts on a display – a great forum to connect with other breeders and smallholders, as well as the general public.
“Winning the award is a huge achievement and a great honour for both myself and my team. It proves our dedication to the native breeds has paid off – to win this prestigious award is the icing on the cake,” he said.
“I’m sure that our business will benefit within the pig industry.”
He will continue to promote the role of pedigree pigs within the commercial world. “Not only do our pedigree females have a place on commercial units as dam lines, but pedigree boars make excellent terminal sires,” he said.
“The commercial world, I know, is sceptical about small scale producers because of the risk of health and biosecurity, but we take this very seriously. We have far more to lose – not only our pigs and our business, but our genetics. Once we lose them, we have nothing. This is something I believe we must protect at all costs.”
Ron’s aim is clear – to continue breeding quality pedigree pigs.
“This is not only for the commercial industry, but also to promote our native breeds among our next generation of pedigree breeders,” he said.
“I believe that there is a place for the native breeds within all areas of the industry. Above all, our mission is to promote our youngsters, to support and encourage them to learn about our wonderful breeds, so we don’t lose our genetics, quality and the strengths of pedigree breeding.”
The publicity from winning the award, including in his local newspaper, will only help the cause. “Among other things, this achievement will be a great boost to our reputation amongst the pedigree and commercial producers,” he added.