Run in conjunction with ABN feeds, the NFU's Poultry Industry Programme (PIP) aims to build on the existing skills and knowledge of the young people that take part to help them develop their careers as future industry leaders.
The programme is made up of a series of events which give participants a unique insight into the industry as well as creating contacts with other professionals. It brings together like-minded young people and provides valuable market insight into the British poultry meat and egg sectors.
Greg Marsh, a participant in the 2016/17 PIP, said: “The programme is imperative in allowing young farmers the opportunity to further expand and develop their experiences in order to push the industry with new ideas and investment, learnt through meeting different people with different ideas and looking at alternative or new technologies within the sector."
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.
Aimee Mahony, NFU Poultry Adviser, said: "It is important to engage and encourage the next generation and the NFU’s Poultry Industry Programme aims to inspire those already working within the sector to become future leaders."
Read these reports from 2017/18 PIP participants to find out more about the programme:
Meet the 2017/18 PIP participants and find out why they applied...
David Andrew, ABN
“I’m still relatively new to the poultry industry having been previously involved in the arable sector. The poultry sector is very refined and efficient when compared to other sectors of the agricultural industry, but there is always room for improvement. The Poultry Industry Programme will allow me to be a part of that which is very exciting. I applied for the programme as I thought it was a rare opportunity to understand different sides of the sector and meet people of a similar age to myself, who hopefully will become contacts throughout my career.”
Daniel Blenkiron, broilers
“Since leaving Harper Adams University I’ve been concentrating on looking at the efficiency of our broiler enterprise. The poultry sector in itself is a very innovative sector of the agricultural industry. The rapidness and quick progression of technology in the broiler sector really fascinates me, and it should be acknowledged that technology has the capacity to really assist a stockperson when rearing birds.”
Edward Calcott, seasonal turkeys
“I’m looking forward to meeting other like-minded people in the poultry sector and learning about other parts of the supply chain. I hope to speak to fellow producers about improving the marketing of my enterprise and potentially get some tips about starting a different poultry enterprise at home.”
Matthew Donald, broiler breeders
“I don’t know many other young people who work with broiler breeders so I wanted to engage with them in the same way as I do with my colleagues in the pig sector. It’s important for me to learn about other sectors of the poultry industry as well as my own and I’m particularly keen to look at the commercial side of things and behind the scenes at processing sites.”
William Garton, vet and AviVets owner
“The poultry industry will be facing a lot of challenges over the course of the next year. The foremost problem in my opinion is Avian Influenza and the acceptance of its presence here in the UK. There is a very good chance that we’ll see the disease again every year from now on so we have to work together to find ways across the board to help control the disease. The next year on the Poultry Industry Programme will give us all a chance to network and work more closely together.”
Thomas Gent, layers
“Our farm is situated in a very rural location so it is rare that I ever meet people around the same age as myself working in the poultry sector. I’m keen to meet people who are in the same position as me to see what they’ve learned and what their experiences are. There may be opportunities for my new contacts and I to work together in the future.”
Tom Glen, ABN
“The Poultry Industry Programme for me represents an opportunity to learn from others in the industry and across the supply chain. As I’m relatively new to the poultry industry the programme presents the perfect chance to look at the rest of supply chain outside of the feed industry. I’m looking forward to growing my network of contacts in the wider industry.”
Patrick Lynn, 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.”
William Martin, seasonal turkeys
“I am a first generation farmer, initially working with a beef herd but six years ago I diversified into Christmas turkeys. Originally I started with 20 turkeys, and this grew year-on-year and now for this Christmas coming I have 600 free-range bronze turkeys. I really love working with the turkeys and I’m passionate about the industry which is why the Poultry Industry Programme looks like such a good opportunity.”
Niamh Molloy, Technical Service Manager for Aviagen
“I’m looking forward to the PIP so I can meet new people and I’ve heard from past participants that the scheme gives you great exposure to the different elements of the poultry sector. I work in a customer-facing role so this will help me to develop my communication skills on an individual level but also I will be of more value to my customers if I increase my understanding of the industry as a whole.”
Federica Monte, poultry consultant for ADAS
“I believe the Poultry Industry Programme will be a fantastic opportunity for me to learn more about the sector as this will improve the service I can offer as a poultry consultant. I’m looking forward to meeting fellow peers from the younger generation within the poultry sector and also to further my contacts.”
Kenna Murdoch, Sales Manager, Kemin Animal Nutrition
“My interests while studying at university were dairy and machinery so it still surprises me that I ended up working for Tesco in their poultry division. I was lucky enough to be exposed to many parts of the industry through my previous job with Tesco, including organics, turkeys and ducks. It’s been a steep learning curve and one that I hope to enhance on the Poultry Industry Programme.”
Charles Roe, layers
“We are relatively small-scale so I recognise that we need to do everything we can to maximise our margins and we aim to be at the top 5-10% of the industry for output. I believe that taking part in the PIP will help us better achieve that goal. I heard about the programme from my local group secretary and I think that different sectors within the poultry industry can learn from each other.”
James Smaldon, broiler breeders
“I know a few previous PIP participants and they recommended the programme to me due to the depth in which you get to see the industry. I am looking forward to seeing and doing things that I wouldn’t have the opportunity to in my day job, which I believe will broaden my horizons. I would love to bring the knowledge and information I gain on the programme back to my family farm. I also really want to see what change I can make as a member of an organisation that lobbies government.”
David Throup, layers
“We set up our free range flock eighteen years ago and we’ve been slowly expanding ever since, including building an enriched colony unit. I hope to gain new contacts and to learn about up-and-coming technologies, hopefully which I can apply back into our own business in the future.”
James Wilson, Mid Wales egg packers
“The recent avian influenza outbreaks have affected the poultry sector considerably. We’ve increased our biosecurity measures massively but I do feel that sometimes the free range sector gets left behind in terms of biosecurity particularly in comparison with the broiler sector. Therefore I’m hoping to learn more about the different sectors and share knowledge and best practice during my time on the Poultry Industry Programme.”