Three of the UK’s poultry industry’s most promising young workers from Herefordshire, Lincolnshire and Scotland have been chosen as finalists for the Zoetis/British Poultry Council Trainee of the Year Award.
The award, which recognises talent, enthusiasm and commitment to training, is sponsored by Zoetis Animal Health in conjunction with the British Poultry Council and the magazine Poultry World. The winner, who will receive a £2000 training grant, will be announced at the BPC annual awards presentation event at the House of Commons on December 2.
The finalists are Nicholas Ham, farm manager on one of Cargill Meats Europe's broiler breeder units near Hereford, Danny Ashley who works at the Aviagen Turkeys hatchery at Grantham and Steven McMorrine, farm manager on a broiler unit of 2 Agriculture at Broxburn, Midlothian.
Uncertain about the motor industry's prospects facing a recession, Nicholas Ham chose a career in poultry rather than study engineering at university and after working on a free-range laying farm near Gloucester joined Cargill to work with broiler breeders at Broadmoor Common and after two years as assistant was promoted to manage the unit.
Danny Ashley took a liking to hatchery work during a summer job and cut short his A-level studies to begin a career with Aviagen Turkeys. He has now made himself a key member of staff in the main production centre for the company's turkey breeding stock business in Europe.
Steven McMorrine, who comes from Livingston, chose a career in poultry rather than train to become an electrician, joining 2 Agriculture in 2009. In just over three years his conscientious approach led to promotion to manage a broiler rearing farm at Broxburn where his results placed the unit within the firm's top ten in Scotland.
The finalists were chosen by a judging panel comprising Philip Clarke, editor of Poultry World; Richard Griffiths, senior executive officer of BPC; Nigel Lodge, national veterinary manager of Zoetis, and John Newton, senior poultry consultant of ADAS.