Global fast food restaurant chain McDonald’s will this year be supporting a Nuffield poultry scholar, who will be looking at strategies to ensure the best possible animal welfare.
McDonald’s and the Three Counties Agricultural Society are supporting Devon-based James Smaldon, who has been granted a scholarship to look at “the future of precision poultry farming and strategies to ensure best possible animal welfare.”
Mr Smaldon, who comes from north Devon, has been on the NFU’s Poultry Industry Programme (PIP). Speaking at this year’s Pig and Poultry Fair, he spoke warmly of the exciting nature of the sector and the opportunities for youngsters.
“Whether you come from a farming background and want to be hands-on down on the ground, or if you are a scientist interested in genetics – there is something for everyone.
“As an industry, we are embracing technology and innovation so there is no shortage of exciting new developments coming down the pipeline to make the sector even more high-tech.”
He added that the Programme had given him a fantastic platform: “I would encourage anyone who works in the poultry sector to consider applying to be part of the next cohort.”
Hannah Eastaugh, from Leicestershire, has been given a scholarship to look at what is next for the UK free-range egg production in a growing and increasingly welfare conscious market.
Ms Eastaugh, who is an agricultural manager with Noble Foods Ltd, is being supported by the British Egg Marketing Board Research and Education Trust. She is the 32nd Nuffield Scholar to have been supported by the BEMB.
The Trust last year supported James Corbett in his work to look at the future for colony and caged egg production.
Mike Vacher, Nuffield director, said the 19 scholars were selected from a strong set of applicants for their ability to lead positive change in farming, food, horticulture and other rural sectors.