Who decides what on the Pig Farm?
From a file marked 'Labour Use' on my client's
farms, I recently came across some statistics I have noted down on this subject
across the decade of the 1990s, and indeed since then. How things seem to have
From a file marked 'Labour Use' on my client's farms, I
recently came across some statistics I have noted down on this subject across
the decade of the 1990s, and indeed since then. How things seem to have
In the same way that any good agricultural salesperson should pitch
his/her sales presentations to the person who signs the cheques, so a farm advisor
like myself should talk to the people on the pig farm who takes the decisions.
Just like the salesman, I always make a note of who these people are after
I have visited a farm - useful should I return.
Here is confirmation
of my past, present and future assessments - the latter two have had to be
subjective, of course - of who takes the more important decisions today on the
larger (2000 sows plus) and the smaller farms (mostly around 500 sows) which I
have visited in Europe over the past 15 years - about 400 in total, I see from
my records. If the trend I notice continues, I make a stab of what the future
position could be.
10 to 15 years ago
(1000sows +). Smaller (200
2 Vet rarely
23 Took a lot of
Managers/owners 45 75
30 Growing presence on both.
Stockperson/ section heads
25 30 Section heads
50 40 Managers
In 10 years time?
Larger ( 5000 sows
Smaller (Around 500 sows?)
40 Much greater input.
10 Trained to follow
50 More professional.
My guess is that the
pig specialist veterinarian will play an increasingly important role (as he is
doing now) but will involve himself more in measuring things, forward planning
(pig flow and work flow) and management. Those of us at the sharp end of
consultancy work realize how much getting these right affect disease prevention.
I therefore welcome the veterinarian taking a greater part in the management of
Interesting, isn't it , that in my last 35 farm visits,
mostly to the larger units, that the owner has only been present at six of them
and two of these took little part in the discussions. To a certain extent I
welcome this trend too, as it shows they have confidence in their managers and
are letting them get on with it. As an ex-manager - hooray!
next blog I'd like to take this a little further and suggest - from talking and
listening to some first-class managers recently - what I think makes a good
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