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Poultry initiative deemed a success

30th November 2016

A bespoke poultry programme aimed at developing skills and knowledge of young people in one of Britain’s biggest farming sectors, has been hailed a success.

A total of 16, 20 to 35 years-olds took part in the 2015/2016 NFU Poultry Industry Programme (PIP), run in conjunction with ABN, which has recently concluded with one of the candidates announced as the first winner of the NFU PIP award, as well as the 2016 EPIC (Egg and Poultry Industry Conference) Young Poultry Person of the Year.

Daniel Johnson, national sales manager for poultry and game at ABN, explains the importance of these initiatives to the industry.

“ABN have been partners of the NFU PIP since it started, and for us this is one of many initiatives we are involved in that’s vital to help encourage young people to choose a career in agriculture.

“In its infancy, both the NFU and ABN were looking for involvement in an initiative that helps retain and develop the knowledge and skills of young people in the poultry industry. And the NFU PIP is the perfect vehicle for this,” says Mr Johnson.

This year’s programme has seen the candidates undertake a jam-packed training schedule across a wide range of areas. These included negotiating and understanding market trends and industry pressures, learning about cutting edge technology, and information and advice surrounding lobbying.

“We work closely with Gary Ford, poultry adviser for the NFU, and Patrick Joice, the Chairmen of the NFU PIP to develop a range of activities which will benefit the candidates. And this year was no exception.

“We arranged trips to Brussels and Westminster, as well as to one of our mills and a mainline retailer, all with the intention of exposing candidates to experiences they would not necessarily have access to, helping with skill development,” says Mr Johnson.

He also explains that they’ve also run the first NFU PIP award this year, where participants were required to write 1,000 words on how they would overcome one of the main challenges they saw for the poultry industry in the coming years. The aim being for candidates to demonstrate continual development throughout the programme.

“The award has been really well received by the participants, and we have our first worthy winner, Dr Steven Pace, who has also recently been announced as the 2016 EPIC Young Poultry Person of the Year, which really highlights how Steven’s contribution to the industry has been widely recognised across our sector.

“There is a real desire for this programme within the industry, and ABN are in it for the long run. There are already plans afoot for the next programme, and we want to work with the NFU to continue to build and develop the programme,” says Mr Johnson.