Bury St Edmunds: Pig stockman scoops trainee award

A new training course for professional pig producers in East Anglia has been another success.

The British Pig Executive (BPEX) has just awarded 27 of the region’s stockmen and women with certificates of excellence for their skills and ability in pig husbandry and stockmanship.

All the students, who work full-time for pig producers, completed the first element of BPEX’s stockman development programme.

But it was student Piotr Wroblewski who clinched the title of top trainee. “The standard and enthusiasm of this year’s entrants were tremendous and it was difficult to pick out one that deserved individual recognition. But we felt Piotr just had the edge and has made the most progress throughout the duration of the course,” said Tess Howe, BPEX’s skills development manager.

Piotr has worked at Piggy Green near Bury St Edmunds for several years.

James Hearmon, of Rattlerow Farms’ East Winch unit near King’s Lynn was runner-up.

The stockman development programme, which runs nationwide, offers those working with pigs an insight into the production and supply chain.

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The course is designed to develop understanding of the pig production cycle and increase knowledge and self-confidence.

This eight-module course, which began last November included sow and gilt management, boar care and handling, artificial insemination, farrowing and lactation management and care of weaned pigs.

The trainees visited feed manufacturer Crown Milling, near Norwich, and an abattoir/pig processing plant.

“Our course is diverse and very hands-on with a huge amount of input from our allied trades.

“All of our tutors come from businesses working in and supporting the British pig industry, such as pig breeding companies, feed compounders and the veterinary profession,” added Miss Howe.

It is the second time that BPEX has run the stockman development course and the number of trainees attending this year has increased twofold on 2010 registrations.

Students said that the course had increased confidence and widened their perspective of pig production.

The BPEX certificate, which covers the core elements of pig production, carries points within the Pig Industry Professional Register (PIPR), the UK pig sector’s own training and development standard.