Judges revealed for 2014 National Pig Awards

Pig World has announced the members of the judging panel for the National Pig Awards. Comprising some of the best-known industry figures, the panel includes respected ex-producers as well as leading industry representatives

Andrew Knowles – chairman

Andrew joined BPEX as the Strategy Co-ordinator in February 2001 a week before the Foot and Mouth Outbreak – great timing! He was appointed BPEX Head of Technical in April 2014, and his team is responsible for initiatives including Closing the Gap – it’s generally accepted that certain European mainland competitors have more efficient production systems, and Andrew’s team is charged with closing this gap between British and other producers. Andrew has a wealth of experience and technical knowledge making him the ideal person to chair the National Pig Awards judging panel.

Dr John Boyd

Dr John Boyd is the National Pig Technical Manager for BOCM PAULS. He’s a commercial pig nutritionist with more than 30 years’ experience. His career started with Unilever Research, where he headed up the team working on improving sow productivity, in addition to other projects on piglet starter and grower rations. He then moved to the commercial sector which allowed him to gain significant and extensive experience with on-farm advisory work in the UK and abroad, investigating the key issues facing pig producers from both a management and feeding point of view. His main aim was to improve the output of customers’ herds.

Sam Walton

Sam Walton needs no introduction to the readers of Pig World. He is the founding editor of the magazine, a former pig producer and a published author. He farms in Yorkshire when his current Pig World duties allow the time! He has unrivalled experience of British pig farms, having visited most, if not all, of them (as well as a few in Thailand…). He prides himself on being able to find something new to write about on every single farm he visits.

Graeme Kirk

Another who needs no introduction to the readers of Pig World, Graeme is the current editor of the magazine. A farmer’s son, he grew up around dairy cows, rather than pigs, but is enjoying getting to know the finer points about pig production, and keeping abreast of all the innovations in the industry.

Mike Sheldon

Mike is a former producer who currently chairs the marketing group Meadow Quality. He is also the Pig Sector Chairman of Red Tractor, as well as chairing Red Tractors’ communication and marketing division. Mike and Sam will bring the all-important “producer eye” to the judging panel.

Lizzie Press

NPA Regions Manager Lizzie Press has worked in the UK pig industry for 11 years. While much of her time is spent in Whitehall and Brussels these days, battling the increasing tide of welfare and environmental legislation, as a farmer’s daughter and a former employee of BQP and Elanco, she has a thorough grounding in practical pig production. All of which makes her ideally suited to judge the National Pig Award candidates.

Specialist judges

Specialist judges will be used for certain categories. The trainee of the year will be judged by a panel consisting of Richard Longthorp, Gerry Brent and another to be confirmed, and the Pedigree Breeder of the Year will be judged by BPA representatives. In addition to this, the NPA’s Chris Brant award, which will be presented on the night, will continue to be judged by the NPA.

The National Pig Awards was launched this year by Pig World in association with the NPA, BPEX and the BPA. Pig World publisher John Lewis said of the judging panel: “We felt it was very important to have a balance of technical experts and former producers on the panel to ensure it has the necessary expertise. We’re delighted with the panel we have and would like to thank them for their time commitment.”

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