The NFU 2019-20 Poultry Industry Programme (PIP) is now underway, with the new cohort representing a real cross-section of the British poultry meat and egg sectors.
The programme builds on the existing skills and knowledge of the young people that take part to help them develop their careers as future industry leaders. It is made up of a series of events which give participants an unique insight into the industry as well as creating contacts with other professionals.
There were a record 63 applicants for the 2019-20 programme - click here to find out more about the new cohort and their reasons for applying.
“We were delighted to see such strong support for the programme, which is already proving to be an important stepping stone for young people involved in the poultry industry.” NFU Poultry Adviser Aimee Mahony
The PIP was initially started by the NFU in recognition of a need to develop young people already working within the poultry industry and broaden their knowledge.
“Making a great group of contacts is very useful to my own business as it provides a good source of information including how other people may have come up with solutions or cost saving ideas. I liked the experience of the PIP and being asked to do tasks that I never thought I would be doing such as writing articles for the NFU magazines and giving presentations at regional meetings. As a result of this I have gained more confidence. Leaving the farm once a month to do something completely different but still related to the poultry sector has improved my knowledge of the industry. I enjoyed learning more about the role the NFU plays for its members and this is something I would like to get more involved in going forwards”. David Throup, egg producer and PIP 2017/18.
Above: The 2017-18 PIP cohort pictured on a knowledge-sharing trip to Brussels
Read these first-hand reports from PIP participants to find out more about their experience of the programme:
Meet the 2019/20 PIP participants and find out why they applied...
Liz Warner, eggs
“We are county council tenant farmers in Devon, where we produce duck and quail eggs for Clarence Court. I was inspired to apply for the PIP because it looks like a brilliant opportunity and I’m hoping to learn a lot about the wider industry. I think sometimes you can get really pigeon holed into what you’re doing and not open your eyes to what’s happening in the rest of the world, so it’s quite interesting to see what everyone else is doing and learn from that.”
John Malseed, turkeys
“I’m a turkey producer from Dartmoor, Devon. At first, I just started doing a few turkeys because we wanted a way to aid cash flow, but this part of the business has grown massively and it’s our main bread and butter. We now grow 4,000 turkeys for the seasonal market, of which 50% are organic.”
George Powell, eggs
“My family are free range egg producers from Shropshire with 64,000 laying hens, which we have converted from flat deck to multi tier. We believe the whole industry is driven towards efficiency and modernisation, so hopefully, through the PIP, between meeting new people and learning from other sectors of the industry, we can drive ourselves to be more efficient and more productive as a business. There are a lot of businesses that are struggling and hopefully this programme will help us futureproof ours.”
Karl Hodgson, broilers
“I’m a broiler farmer from Carlisle, Cumbria, where I farm with my father. We have two poultry units, each with 56,000 birds, and we’re on contract with Frank Bird Poultry. The aim of going on this programme is to broaden my horizons, improve my public speaking skills, and to network with people of a similar age and profession in the industry. Hopefully, the things I learn I’ll be able to take back to my business and boost efficiency and maintain profitability.”
Jonathan Baxter, layers
“I applied for the Poultry Industry Programme as I thought it was an exciting opportunity to learn about the industry and also to develop some personal skills as well. This will obviously be beneficial to me as an individual but will also help the industry as a whole if the younger generation are working together to be the leaders of the future.”
James Porter, broilers
“I’m the son of a poultry farmer and our independent business, based in Lincolnshire, has over one million chickens and our own feed mill. I am looking to take over the farm in the near future. For this reason, I thought the PIP would be really useful to expand my knowledge of the poultry industry. I’m really looking forward to the European visit, which will be something completely different for me and really good to see.”
Avril Ritchie, Noble Foods
“I’m a senior area manager for Noble Foods, looking after company farms and liaising with producers. I applied to PIP because I thought it would be a really valuable opportunity to expand my skills and knowledge, particularly in the wider poultry industry, and interact with people I may not usually have a chance to talk to.”
Will Lea, layers
“I’ve been brought up on a farm and always loved the poultry sector, but would love to expand my knowledge through the PIP. I think this is such a great programme that will enable me to get out there and meet likeminded people and see different aspects of the industry. I’ve got a free-range egg unit at home in the West Midlands, with 38,000 layers, which keeps us very busy and I also work for Lloyd’s Animal Feeds/CFP.”
Charlotte Howlett, farm manager
“I am a rearing farm manager for K Fresh and I look after three farms based in the North East, as well as working on ways to grow the business. The PIP is aimed purely at young people in the poultry industry and having been involved in more broad spectrum next generation programmes previously, this one appealed to me as it’s targeted at the sector in which I’d like to further my career.”
Patrick McCloy, ducks
“I’m from a family farm near Leeds, we grow ducks for Avara and we also grow potatoes and mixed arable for Cockerels and McCain’s. What I’m looking to get out of the programme is further knowledge of the wider poultry industry; I would also be really keen to expand my business knowledge.”
Will Raw, broilers
“My family farm in Yorkshire has 210,000 broilers. I decided to apply for the PIP because it looked like a fantastic opportunity to meet new people and gain information that I might not get at home doing everyday farming with my family. I also think it’ll be a great way of advancing our business and learning more about the NFU.”
Mark Jolliffe, ABN Account Manager
“I am originally from Dorset, and I’m an account manager for ABN and have been with the business for six years. I look after a range of accounts including broiler breeders, broilers, vaccine eggs and layers. I wanted to join the PIP to further my knowledge of different sectors of the industry and also to help pass relevant information on to my customers.”