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Ross UK 420 Club steering group works to “Shape the Future”

21 May 2020, at 10:00am

On May 7, the first online meeting of the newly-extended Ross® UK 420 Club Steering Group took place, exploring current hot topics and innovative ideas for shaping the future of the Club.

Aviagen® UK formed the Steering Group to spearhead the direction of the Ross 420 Club, and to play a part in driving the UK poultry industry ahead. The Group has now grown from 7 to 14 and will accomplish these goals by leveraging the collective experience, as well as passion of new and existing members to implement continuous improvements that benefit bird health, welfare and performance.

Steering the way forward

Aviagen’s Head of UK Sales and Technical Service Stuart Thomson and UK Technical Service Manager Kevin Stebbings, along with 12 of the 14 Steering Group members, discussed the Ross 420 Club’s current status and future course. Since the new target of a European Production Efficiency Factor (EPEF) score of 420 or more was introduced in July of last year, the Club has welcomed 20 members. The Ross 420 Gold is also gathering momentum, with a total of 44 winners since the introduction of the Gold initiative in 2018.

Some plans on the horizon for the Club are a new communications platform, as well as beneficial in-depth information on relevant management and industry topics, which will be shared with the Club in its entirety.

Stuart remarked, “I appreciate the enthusiasm, openness and interaction of the attendees, and feel all benefited by the ideas and knowledge exchanged. Each and every member has unique talent and experience to contribute and I look forward to seeing the Group thrive.”

Members of the Group voice their enthusiasm

“I enjoyed my first Steering Group meeting, made up of like-minded people, all contributing their time and effort to help enhance performance, both individually and as an industry. By exchanging best practices and working through common challenges, together we’ll move toward continual improvement in an ever-changing market,” said Martyn Watson.

“The first gathering today was a huge success, and I’m proud to be part of this team, which represents producers from different walks of life -- all bringing different viewpoints that we can learn from. It’s especially important during these current challenging times to be encouraged and supported by those who have common bonds,” added Sean Harrison. “My hope is that the Club and the efforts of the Steering Group will help inspire the younger generation that hard work will not go unseen.”

According to Josh Hillier, who is fairly new to the business, “As a group we discussed ways to improve, not only our individual operations, but the industry as a whole. I can see this Group making others feel they want to be part of the best in the UK industry, seeing that hard work really does pay off in achieving their maximum potential, and being rewarded for it.”

“We’re all here to grow chickens to the best of our ability using the current proven practices – which are continually improving – to achieve the highest-possible results. The Group gives us a chance to share our experiences, both good and bad, knowing we all have a similar mindset that ‘only the best is good enough’ as we strive to expand our knowledge to develop the ‘art’ of growing modern broilers,” commented Lee Baxter. “The Steering Group is a great forum for growers to share what is working for them, and perhaps more importantly, what is not. It’s an honour to be a member of the Ross 420 Club, which I set as a goal years ago and have worked hard to earn!”

“It was inspiring to meet with a group of farmers who are passionate about what they do and are keen to discuss best practices and innovative management techniques to improve performance,” remarked Charles Bourns.