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Norfolk herd manager in pig trainee of the year final

16:36 22 October 2010

Three of the pig industry’s brightest young workers including a Norfolk herd manager are finalists in the 2010 Pfizer Pig Trainee of the Year Award.

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Now in its fourth year, the award recognises the importance of training in helping pig producers meet increasingly demanding market standards as well as in developing individual careers.

The award, including a training grant paid to the winner’s employer and a cash prize together worth £2,500, will be presented at the House of Commons on November 1 for both the pig and poultry sectors.

The finalists were chosen by a judging panel comprising Richard Longthorp, pig industry training supremo, Gerry Brent, industry consultant and Dr Dan Tucker, senior lecturer at the University of Cambridge school of veterinary medicine.

The Norfolk finalist, Helen Hooks, who has been in the pig industry for 12 years, was a runner-up for the 2008 award. She manages a 540-sow indoor unit producing weaners for East Anglian Pig Company at Saham Toney, near Thetford.

She is furthering her career through the BPEX professional manager’s development scheme, and using her skills to train members of her team. She would like to continue improving her management and computer skills, and visit units in other countries.

The other finalists include Kate Munro-Ashman, who studied at Sparsholt College in Hampshire and Suffolk College before starting with G Ashman’s New Barn Farm, Bucklebury, Reading, in July 2008.

She manages a 900-sow outdoor unit producing weaners for MJ & JA Easey.

The West Country is represented by Peter Hunt, who also works with an outdoor pig herd near Exeter in July 2009. He recently gained a national proficiency level 2 certificate of competence through BPEX training.

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