Thumbs up for BPEX’s Practical pig app

The BPEX Practical Pig App is getting a positive response from stockmen who are learning key pig husbandry skills on farm, using the app’s video clips as a prompt for discussion.

Producer Tony Bayles from East Anglia was one of the first to use the app and is pleased with how it’s been received by staff. BPEX knowledge transfer manager Richard Bows has worked through relevant sections with one of Tony’s stockmen, Marc, watching the video clips together and discussing how each one applies to their unit.

“Some stockmen don’t always feel that comfortable in a classroom environment and can struggle to learn,” Mr Bayles said. “But Marc is really positive about learning on-site with someone he knows, using the app on a tablet computer which is technology he is familiar with.”

Mr Bayles is planning for more staff to take part in training sessions using the app.

“In the longer term, there’s potential for the app to be used as part of an induction programme to give everyone on the unit the same background level of knowledge,” he said.

The Practical Pig App features more than 50 short video clips that demonstrate practical management techniques on farm, currently covering both indoor and outdoor breeding herd production, with videos covering first stage to finishing departments to be added this month.

The clips explain not only how tasks are done, but also why they are done in a certain way and what impact that can have on pig productivity. The app is ideal for supervisors to watch with their stockmen, either out on the unit or in the staffroom during tea break – so they can highlight key points and explain them in the context of their particular farm.

If there’s something producers would like to be added to the app, please let the BPEX knowledge transfer team know. It’s a dynamic video library that can be built to suit producers’ needs.

To download the app, free, for smartphone or tablet computer, go to play.google.com or www.apple.com and search for BPEX Practical Pig App or, to download the videos on a PC or laptop, go to practicalpig.bpex.org.uk

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