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Finalists for Pfizer Poultry Trainee of Year Award

by 5m Editor
24 September 2010, at 9:38am

UK - Three ambitious young poultry workers from Cambridgeshire, Lincolnshire and the Scottish Borders have been chosen as finalists competing for the 2010 Pfizer Poultry Trainee of the Year Award.

Now in its fourth year, the award recognises the importance of training in helping poultry producers meet increasingly demanding market standards as well as in developing individual careers. It is sponsored by Pfizer Animal Health in conjunction with the magazine, Poultry World, whose readers decided the winner.

The award, including training grant paid through the winner's employer and a cash prize together worth £2500, will be presented at a House of Commons ceremony on 1 November for both the poultry and pig sectors.

The finalists are:

Jamie Curston, a former pupil of Methwold High School, began as a trainee on the Vion Food Group's largest broiler unit at Foulden in Norfolk, and within 18 months was given the opportunity to manage a smaller unit at Barcham, near Ely, which the group had just taken on. His first flock of broilers finished third among the 29 in the firm's league table. He completed a Level 2 livestock production apprenticeship with the Norfolk-based Poultec training organisation, and is now working towards a level 3 diploma in agriculture advanced apprenticeship.

Lianne Jackson gained three 'A' levels at Brigg Sixth Form College, then followed her father into poultry with Hook 2 Sisters. She worked on two large broiler units, becoming assistant manager at Messingham, near Scunthorpe. Her big break came earlier this year when competing against 11 older colleagues she was chosen for a management trainee role, one of the first in the company's reorganisation of senior roles. She, too, has a level 2 qualification and is now progressing, again with Poultec, towards a level 3 diploma in agriculture.

Benjamin Pollard joined poultry breeding company Aviagen from high school in Haddington, East Lothian, to work in one of the most challenging sectors of the industry – pedigree poultry breeding. Three years ago, he became assistant manager of the firm's Garleton farm, was earlier this year seconded for three months on Aviagen's Indian operation and is now working on a project analysing the chicken's growth profile. He is studying with the Scottish Agricultural College for a fast-track S/NVQ level 3 qualification in poultry production.