PIP members past and present look to the future

27 June 2023

Emily Hughes

Emily Hughes

NFU Poultry Industry Programme 2022/23, Poultry health specialist, North East

A group photo from the PIP (Poultry Industry Programme) alumni event at Chesford Grange

Photograph: Lloyd Rogers

The current PIP (Poultry Industry Programme) cohort was tasked with organising an alumni event allowing past and present members to get together, reflect on the past and look at the future of the industry. Current PIP participant Emily Hughes reports.

Earlier this year, the 2022/2023 PIP cohort were set the task of organising PIP alumni event, celebrating 10 years of the programme.

Focus on education

With education being a focal point of the event, the group wanted to bring together previous cohort members to provide opportunities to network, while ensuring there was a charitable element to the day - all while looking at the past and future of the programme and industry.

We welcomed 40 past and present members of the PIP to the event, which was held at Chesford Grange hotel in Kenilworth in May. After a light lunch, catch-ups with familiar faces and introductions to new ones, we settled down for an afternoon of engaging presentations from a wide array of knowledgeable speakers.

Wide range of speakers

Firstly, we heard from David Neilson, of Avara Foods, who opened the event by recalling his memories from his own experience as a member of the first PIP cohort in 2012.

Next, Nathan Hiom, of St David’s Vets, summarised the challenges to the poultry industry from a veterinary perspective, focusing on coccidiosis, avian influenza and even artificial intelligence.

Stuart Thomson, from Aviagen, gave a detailed account of his journey from stockperson to Head of Sales and Technical. An inspiring talk that led to an in-depth discussion with the audience.

Rebecca Wilson and Lizzie McLaughlin, of of the Becca and Lizzie podcast, discussed the power of social media and how it can be used as a tool to champion UK agriculture.

Phil Lily, from Westwood Energy, kept on theme with a talk on the past, present and future of power generation in poultry.

Last, but certainly not least, representing the egg industry, we had Michael Griffiths and Rob Newell, of Griffiths Family Farms, who gave attendees a valuable insight into their unique business, and looked to the future both for themselves and for the egg industry as a whole.

Funds raised for charity

The evening concluded with a three-course dinner and raffle in memory of former PIP participant and chair Patrick Joice, which raised a staggering £2,300 for YANA (You Are Not Alone), a charity that does fantastic work offering mental health support for those involved in farming and other rural businesses affected by stress and depression.

We would like to take this opportunity to thank all of the attendees, sponsors, speakers and those who donated raffle prizes, who helped make this such a memorable event.

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