Northern Ireland-based pig business JMW Farms has been named 2022 Pig Producer of the Year at the National Pig Awards.
JMW also won the Indoor Pig Producer of the Year at the ceremony, which took place in London on Tuesday night, entertainingly hosted by Rugby World Cup winner Matt Dawson.
The Outdoor Pig Producer of the Year was Norfolk-based GSK Pigs. The two went head-to-head for the overall, with JMW Farms coming out on top, for its new breeding site, Katesbridge Farms, consisting of F1 sows and gilts.
The weekly serve, farrow and wean system produces more than 600 7kg weaners per week, which are then moved to a dedicated weaner farm off-site.
Recent farm figures show that 36.2 pigs are weaned per sow per year. The farm has an average pre-weaning mortality rate of 7.8%, and records an average of 17.1 piglets born alive. The average recorded weaner weight is 6.72kg.
Farm manager Jasmine Wright is undertaking a 50:50 trial that is comparing Danish Duroc to Tempo genetic types, so that she can find the best breed to suit the system at Katesbridge Farm, to drive financial performance and returns.
Outdoor Pig Producer of the Year, GSK Pigs, runs nine outdoor breeding sites, totalling roughly 8,600 sows and including a rare breed farrow-to-finish site, on rented land of around 1,000-acres in Norfolk.
All, except the rare breed unit, produce pigs for BQP. GSK is in the process of converting all to five-week weaning, as this system has resulted in healthier and heavier finishing pigs.
The company, which breeds all its own replacements, has invested heavily to reduce its carbon footprint, including a greening programme across its farms and in lowering vehicle emissions.
In total, 15 National Pig Awards were handed out on the night. Particularly given the difficult year the industry has endured, the entries impressed this year this year, in terms of both quantity and quality, described as a ‘real testament to the resilience of the industry’ by head judge Stewart Houston.
He described some categories, particularly the trainee award, where, unusually a highly commended award was handed out, as ‘absolutely outstanding’.
Full list of winners:
- Overall Pig Producer of the Year – Katesbridge Farm, JMW farms
- Indoor Producer of the Year – Katesbridge Farm, JMW farms
- Outdoor Producer of the Year – GSK Pigs, Risby Unit
- Innovation of the Year – JMW Farms
- Herd Productivity of the Year – Harper Adams University
- Trainee of the Year – Highly Commended: Emma Claxton, ME Claxton, Winner: Max Campbell, Bunkers Hill Pigs
- Young Pig Farmer of the Year – Fred Allen, Allen Farms (Coddington)
- Young Farm Vet of the Year – Joint winners: Hannah Loader, Oakwood Veterinary Group, Dimitrie Leonte, Garth Pig Practice
- Stockperson of the Year – Clare Murray, Eccles Green Farms
- Special Achievement of the Year – Lizzie Wilson, National Pig Association
- Unit Manager of the Year – Matthew Burgess, Clumber Pigs
- Finisher of the Year – SD & AJ Wood
- Marketing Initiative of the Year – Bofs Hogs, Woodside Farm
- Pedigree Breeder of the Year – Georgina Woolf, The Orwell Herd
- NPA Allied Industry Member – Hipra
You can read more about all the winner HERE
The night also saw the David Black Award handed out to deserving winner Zoe Davies, the former NPA chief executive, while Anna Longthorp won the NPA Chris Brant Award for her tireless campaigning and charity work over the past 12 months.
A charity raffle, sponsored by principals National Pig Awards sponsor ForFarmers, raised thousands of pounds for important charity, the Farming Community Network.