The launch of the National Pig Awards created much interest at last month’s Pig & Poultry Fair. This is a major new initiative launched by Pig World, in association with BPEX, the National Pig Association and now also the British Pig Association.
The National Pig Awards is a scheme designed to recognise and reward best practice and encourage wider adoption of successful processes and techniques.
Pig Producer of the Year
Entries for the main award, which carries prize money of £2,500, will be judged separately as either single- or multiple-site entrants on the following criteria:
> Records for production and cost of production
> Records to show:
- Conception rate
- Farrowing rate
- Numbers born, weaned and sold per sow
- Welfare of animals
- Welfare of staff
- Handling of slurry and manure
> New investment and initiative in buildings/equipment, or generally
> Bio-security measures
> Staff motivation and training
> How you have supported the wider pig industry
> General appearance
> Any other initiative such as marketing activity, farm shop or similar
There will be a Single-Site Producer of the Year, and a Multiple-Site Producer of the Year. One of these winners will then be crowned Pig Producer of the Year and will win £2,500.
In addition to the Producer of the Year, there are a number of specialist categories, each of which will be judged on its own criteria.
Contract Finisher of the Year
This award is based on key performance data (growth rates, feed conversion rates and so on). We will also consider the proportion of pigs sent that are within the weight range (the box) and grading. In addition other general welfare and scientific information will be taken into account.
Information Technology Award
This award is to reward effective monitoring, record keeping and the use of records. The winner will be the producer who can demonstrate a commitment to monitoring and how the use of records has resulted in increased production efficiency.
Innovation of the Year
This is an award for farmers or farm businesses, not suppliers. To win this award you must demonstrate any initiative, new idea or business development concept that has come to fruition in the past 12 months and is demonstrably new to your business. It can encompass site development, investment, a business scheme, or anything that’s new and has paid dividends.
Investor in Training Award
Advances in modern technology mean attending courses or on-farm training is essential to keep staff up to date. The winner of this award will be able to demonstrate how he/she has invested in staff training and the benefits it brings.
Producer Retailer of the Year
This award is to encourage and reward all marketing efforts by producers that are employed to increase sales and establish brands. It will encompass brand development, selling through multiple retailers and farm shops.
The Herd Productivity Award
This award is to recognise the importance of improving herd productivity and is a data-based award given to the business that can demonstrate the greatest improvement in terms of pigs per sow per year.
Trainee of the Year – prize money £500
This award is open to all British pig unit personnel who can show how training is benefiting both their career and livestock performance on their unit. Where possible, this can be supported by unit performance data. Nominations are welcome from both experienced individuals and newcomers to the industry.
Young Pig Farmer of the Year – prize money £500
Entrants must be aged 40 or younger on November 4, 2014. Written entries must include details of the following:
> Involvement in the business
> Demonstration of new initiatives
> Show commitment to the industry
Stockman of the Year – prize money £500
Entry is by written entry only, however they can be nominated by the employing farmer or the employee him/herself. Entries direct from stockmen/woman must include a reference from the employer.
The judges will be looking for:
> Evidence of commitment to the job
> Any innovation or similar that the stockman has been responsible for
> Evidence of “going the extra mile” and what this has achieved
> A reference from the employer supporting the individual stating why he/she would be an appropriate winner of this title
Pedigree Breeder of the Year
At the Pig Fair, it was announced that this extra category would be added to the list of awards. This category will be organised and judged in association with the BPA. The stated purpose of these awards is to promote excellence and best practice across the whole industry, so it’s a natural extension of the awards to extend their reach into the pedigree breed and specialist areas. Inclusivity and the opportunity to network with peers is also an object of the awards and this new award fulfils that aim.
Unlike other award schemes, these awards are exclusively for the UK pig industry, organised on behalf of the sector by the industry’s magazine.
Like access to Pig World itself, access to information on finalists and winners will be closely controlled and restricted to bona fide members of the industry.
The winners will be announced at a prestigious awards ceremony at The Royal Garden Hotel, London, on Tuesday, November 4, 2014.
All finalists will receive two complimentary tickets to the awards ceremony and be able to network with the whole industry at the event.
The closing date for entries is Friday 27th June.