Congratulations to all our 2022 finalists and winners
Indoor & Overall Producer of the Year, Katesbridge Farm - JMW Farms
Katesbridge Farm, in Northern Ireland, is a new JMW pig breeding site consisting of F1 sows and gilts. The weekly serve, farrow and wean system produces more than 600 7kg weaners per week. Once weaned, the pigs are moved to a dedicated weaner farm off-site. Recent farm figures show 36.2 pigs are weaned per sow per year, with pre-weaning mortality rate of 7.8%, and an average of 17.1 piglets born alive. These are exceptional figures fitting of a deserving winner.
Outdoor Producer of the Year, GSK Pigs - Risby Unit
GSK is in the process of converting all units to five-week weaning, as this system has resulted in healthier and heavier finishing pigs for them. The company has invested heavily to reduce its carbon footprint, including a greening programme across its farms and in lowering vehicle emissions, as well as delivering excellent performance figures across its units.
Young Pig Farmer of the Year, Fred Allen
Fred Allen is director of Allen Farms (Coddington) in Nottinghamshire, which includes an outdoor farrow-to-finish unit. He has overseen an increase in the herd from 550 sows to 850, alongside investment in the unit, including a new weaner building, since when average weaning numbers have risen from 10.5 to 12 pee litter and pre-weaning mortality has almost halved. Antibiotic usage is now in the lowest 10 percentile in the UK and soya usage has been halved and replaced with beans grown on the farm.
Herd Productivity Award, Harper Adams University
A former Overall Pig Producer of the Year, Harper Adams University’s 230-sow pig unit has averaged an incredible 16.8 piglets born alive and 14.3 weaned per litter, with 33.4 weaned per sow per year over the past 12 months. They attribute this partly to the exceptional care of small and weak piglets, which are fed colostrum collected at farrowing until they are strong enough to use milk cups.
Marketing Initiative of the Year, Bofs Hogs, Woodside Farm
Richard and Jennifer Baugh run Bofs Hogs premium hog roast and Bofs Meat Boxes at Woodside Farm, in Nottinghamshire, which has a 130-sow outdoor unit run. The family’s hog roast business books between 20 and 25 events a year. During lockdown, they developed a meat box business and took to social media to promote life on the farm, as part of their marketing campaign.
Stockperson of the Year, Clare Murray
Congratulations to Clare, who works on a 650-sow breeding unit in Northern Ireland and has a ‘natural’ and ‘clear affinity for livestock’, which shines through in her work. She excels in the husbandry department, having specialised in it while studying at the University of Michigan. She is fully responsible for the farm’s farrowing houses, but is proficient in all unit sections and is often entrusted with the sole care of the farm.
Trainee of the Year, Max Campbell
Congratulations Max in coming out top in this competitive category. He is assistant manager of Bunkers Hill Pigs, in Norfolk, having joined as a trainee stockman in June 2019. He has overseen a herd move, repopulation and conversion from four- to five-weak weaning - and production figures have dramatically improved since. He has worked on several other pig farms and undertaken various strands formal training – and it all adds up to another rising industry star.
Unit Manager of the Year, Matthew Burgess
Matthew Burgess, is unit manager at the 1,600-sow farrow-to-wean outdoor unit, Clumber Pigs, in Nottinghamshire. It operates on a three-week batch system, with 225 sows and gilts per batch. The unit is producing an impressive 28.46 pigs weaned/sow/year, with 12 pigs weaned/litter, and these figures have been by changes made by Matthew
Finisher of the Year, SD & AJ Wood
SD & AJ Wood is a family run and owned 300-sow farrow-to-finish unit near Goole in Yorkshire. The farm works closely with Holmefield Veterinary services and Kingsgate Nutrition to produce quality pigs with as low a carbon footprint as possible, and prides itself on milling and mixing its own feed and utilising all farm-grown grain and beans. Pigs reach, on average, 120kg at 23 weeks, with a wean-to-finish Daily Livewight gain of 875g and Feed Conversion Ratio at 2.1.
Young Farm Vet of the Year, Hannah Loader
Hannah Loader trained and qualified as a veterinary surgeon at Massey University in New Zealand and in 2019 joined Oakwood Veterinary Group, where she was responsible for 16 independent commercial pig farms. She implemented a series of protocols on various farms, which resulted in better disease control and significantly reduced mortality rates and has also successfully increased sow fertility on units.
Young Farm Vet of the Year, Dimitrie Leonte
Dimitrie qualified in agricultural sciences and veterinary medicine in 2012, in Romania. After moving to Denmark to become farm manager of a 700-sow unit, he joined Garth Pig Practice, as assistant pig veterinary surgeon where he is responsible for 10 breeding sites, totalling nearly 3,000 sows, and a further 27 nurseries and finisher sites totalling more than 49,600 pigs. Recently, he took responsibility for a unit which had serious problems and instigated changes that saw overall mortality rate fall by 65%, tail-biting incidences by 90% and antibiotic usage by 95%.
Innovation of the Year, JMW Farms
Research and development manager, Jessica Connolly, is driving JMW Farms’ Eco Pig’ campaign, as it moves towards carbon neutrality and sustainable pig production. One 5,000-sow breeding unit and its feed mill are electrically powered by slurry produced on-site and crop-fuelled anaerobic digestors, which also supply 4,000 local homes.
Special Achievement of the Year, Lizzie Wilson
Congratulations to Lizzie, very well known to most in this room and recently appointed as the NPA’s chief executive. She played a major role, alongside other industry representatives, in changing the Government’s mind on the potentially damaging Farming Rules for Water. She banged some heads together until we got a sensible outcome, saving the industry, saving producers millions and allowing autumn spreading.
Pedigree Breeder of the Year, Georgina Woolf
Georgina established the Orwell Herd of Pedigree Gloucester Old Spots and Large Whites before deciding they wanted to take their pigs through the whole process. So in 2019, they opened Oak House Farm butchery, which grew slowly at first, before the pandemic catapulted the shop onto another level as people searched for locally-reared meat. The business aims to give customers the ability to buy directly from the farm at an affordable price and to talk directly to the final consumer.
NPA Allied Industry Member of the Year, Hipra
HIPRA is a multinational pharmaceutical company, whose products include the MHYOSPHERE PCV ID vaccine, which, launched two years ago, has now sold more than 2 million doses, including 1.5m in the last 12 months. They have also been big supporters of the pig industry over the past 12 months.