Three of the poultry industry's most promising young workers from Herefordshire, Lincolnshire and Scotland have been chosen as finalists for the Zoetis and British Poultry Council Trainee of the Year Award. The award, which recognizes talent, enthusiasm and commitment to training, is sponsored by Zoetis Animal Health in conjunction with the British Poultry Council.
The winner, who will receive a GBP2000 (US$3,196) training grant, will be announced at the British Poultry Council 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, 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.
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.
McMorrine, who comes from Livingston, chose a career in poultry rather than train to become an electrician, joining 2 Agriculture in 2009. In just more than 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.