Tony Wright of Shedden Farms was presented with a special Student of the Year Award at the final session of the BPEX Professional Manager’s Development Scheme (PMDS).
He was one of seven truly inspirational pig managers whose energy and professionalism shone through as they presented what they had achieved during the 15-month course, both on their farms and in their own personal development.
Tony highlighted three key improvements he had made. “I introduced annual staff appraisals just to provide a time to talk about everything one-to-one and to ask them what targets they’d like to work towards on the unit. It caused some worry when I first mentioned it but pig productivity has gone up and stayed up since.
“I’ve also changed the way I communicate with staff. I focus on listening and I’m now assertive, rather than aggressive.
“Thirdly, my time management and delegation have improved. I’m now working around 55 hours a week instead of 70 or more and have a better family life.”
Course leader Alistair Gibb of Cedar Associates said: “It was the most difficult job to decide who should receive the award. But, in Tony, we witnessed a real transition from start to finish. He really drew on the support of the rest of the group, was very quick to apply what he’d learned back on farm and has done a lot with how he works with his staff. He’s an inspiration!”
The managers who completed the course were:
See photographs from course presentation here.