Podcast: Doing better in the pig industry, the UK example

Podcast: Doing better in the pig industry, the UK example


In this 2-part 62nd episode of the Real P3 podcast, Dr Casey Bradley speaks to Mark Jagger in the UK. Having been in the swine industry most of his life, Jagger has worked his way from a technician to a sow farm manager and now leads a team on the grower-finisher side.

The Real P3 podcast series is an initiative where pork professionals from around the globe share their thoughts, insights, and solutions to their day-to-day challenges in the pig farming and production industry.

Part 1 (episode 62a) – “A healthy animal will do well for you”

Although Jagger does not have a farming background (his father was a Parish priest) Jagger attributes much of his passion for agriculture to John Rench, now aged 101, who became a member of the British Empire for his service to agriculture. Rench, he says, taught him the “simplest but best” rule which is that “a happy animal is a healthy animal, and a healthy animal will do well for you”. Having been with British Quality Pigs of Pilgrims UK for 28 years, today, Jagger is Assistant Growing Farms Manager.

Jagger discusses the types of pigs raised in the UK while highlighting how consumers buy on price and not the flag on the product. He touches on the impact of Brexit, Covid-19, ASF and current market issues facing the UK swine sector. Jagger also shares his personal experience and struggles with mass depopulation and his thoughts about employee well-being, highlighting mental health issues. He also speaks about the new generation of farm workers and the entrance of women into different roles.

Part 2 (episode 62b) – A eureka moment that led to a unique invention

In part 2, Jagger talks about the importance of water, some changes being made to drive water sustainability, and optimizing performance on the grower-finisher side. He tells of a humorous story that sparked his “eureka moment” that led to the invention of a drinker for pigs whereby the pig doesn’t drink out of a nipple but presses the nipple with the top of his nose. The water remains clean, wastage is limited, but the pigs drink more water. Jagger has won awards for this invention.


Natalie Kinsley Freelance journalist
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