UK pig technologist wins major award

18-12-2008 | |

Pig Technologist Mark Hawe has picked up a major award for his work with pig farmers in Northern Ireland. Described as the driving force behind many pig businesses, Mark was voted Livestock Adviser of the Year in the Farmers Weekly Annual Awards.

“I am delighted to have been nominated for this award by pig producers and to win Livestock Adviser of the Year is icing on the cake. However, I feel that there are many of my Development Service colleagues in CAFRE who are equally deserving of this award” declared a modest Mark.

Mark was nominated for the award by the directors of Progressive Lean Pigs Ltd. Glen Cuddy, secretary of PLP said: “This is a worthy recognition for all the hard work Mark has done and continues to do for producers, advising on practical pig management, organising training courses, and encouraging us to improve carcase quality. No matter what you ask Mark to do he does it willingly, he is totally committed to the pig industry.”

Pig Benchmarking Project
As a Pig Technologist, Mark’s work involves helping farmers improve management of their pig units by encouraging adoption of new technologies and understanding new regulations. And while much of his work is focused on the practical issues surrounding pig keeping, one of his most demonstrable successes has come in establishing the Pig Benchmarking Project. “Many producers were reticent about sharing information but, over time, they’ve seen the value of it and spend a lot of time seeing where they can improve” explained Mark.

Ever keen to help farmers use modern technology to boost their businesses, Mark worked with colleagues in AFBI to develop the PiGIS online comparison tool for farmers to compare their latest slaughter data. Mark added “This allows them to compare current carcass quality of slaughter pigs with previous batches to see where changes in genetics or feed have impacted on pig performance and farm profits.”