Cheshire farm worker Aimee Cox was presented with the 2021 Zoetis-NFU Poultry Trainee Award at the British Pig and Poultry Fair at Stoneleigh Park, Warwickshire.
Aimee, who helps manage broiler chickens for Red Hall Farming at Leighton, near Crewe, was given the award trophy by NFU president Minette Batters.
A love of poultry
Aimee took an early interest in hatching chickens, ducks and quail, but began a career in the equine world before returning to her love of poultry.
After initial experience on an egg laying farm, she joined Aviagen Turkeys and became R and D farm supervisor working, with some of the top poultry scientists, nutritionists and geneticists for four years.
In February 2020 she moved to Red Hall Farming where she works on a 500,000-bird multi-age broiler unit on a 600-acre arable farm.
As part of the award – now in its 15th year – Aimee receives a £2000 training grant sponsored by animal health company Zoetis to help further her career.
James Porritt, national pig and poultry manager for Zoetis, said every year he was impressed by the high calibre of entries.
“It is really good to see all the talent coming up in the poultry industry,” he said.
“We need to keep hold of and nurture this talent, and make sure they go forward taking advantage of lots of opportunities in our industry. Going forward, the finalists are going to be strong ambassadors for the industry.”
The other finalists are Jack McAlister, who has a managerial role at the Hendrix Genetics hatchery near Peterborough, and received the runner-up prize, Stefan Burca and Victoria Axon, who both work for Cobb Europe on their great-grandparent breeder farms in Norfolk.
The award judges were James Porritt and Lucy Berriman of Zoetis, and James Mottershead and Jo Travis of the NFU.
The 2022 award will be launched in the coming months with the presentation towards the end of the year.