Winner For Pfizer Poultry Trainee Of Year

COVENTRY - A new award worth £2000 for the Pfizer Poultry Trainee of the Year has been won by Christopher Rees, who manages a broiler breeder farm in Cambridgeshire for Moy Park.
calendar icon 14 November 2007
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The award including a £2000 training grant, engraved glass trophy and certificate, was presented to Christopher Rees by Lord Rooker, Minister of State, Defra, at the Egg & Poultry Industry Conference at Meriden, near Coventry.

Farming Minister Lord Rooker (left) presents the Pfizer Poultry Trainee of the Year award to Christopher Rees watched by Nigel Lodge, technical manager of Pfizer Animal Health
Pfizer Poultry Trainee of the Year, Christopher Rees (second left), with Farming Minister Lord Rooker. Left is Andrew Ballantyne, agricultural general manager - for Christopher's employers Moy Park, and right Nigel Lodge, technical manager of Pfizer Animal Health

The award, organised by Pfizer Animal Health jointly with the magazine Poultry World, recognises the growing importance of workplace training as producers meet ever higher standards of food safety and animal welfare in an increasingly competitive market.

The winner was chosen by the readers of Poultry World - 39 per cent voting for Christopher Rees, 31 per cent for Harry Perdikou who works on Steart Farms broiler unit in Somerset and 30 per cent for Adrian Abnett, an assistant manager on one of Grampian Country Chickens breeder rearing units in Kent.

Although brought up on a poultry farm in Leicestershire, Christopher Rees did not begin a career in the industry until he was 24. He trained for a career in the agricultural supply industry, initially selling animal feed and country clothing. Then in 1993 he switched to poultry, at first collecting eggs on a breeder unit, then moved to the commercial egg sector managing a free range and barn egg unit in Northamptonshire.

In 2004 he joined Moy Park, becoming assistant manager for a broiler breeder unit in Lincolnshire and then last September manager of one of Moy Park's most modern breeder units at Landbeach, near Cambridge. It is a husband-and-wife partnership on the farm; he met his wife Debbie while working at the layer unit and they were married three years ago.

His training was provided in conjunction with Easton College in Norfolk where he was awarded the Kidner Cup for the most outstanding poultry student of the year.

He would like to use the prize to further his computer-based training and to do a foundation degree in poultry production as a distance learning course with Harper Adams University College.

  • Pfizer Animal Health is this year sponsoring Trainee of the Year Awards in both the poultry and pig industries. Although the poultry award is new this year, the award for the pig trainee has been organised for the past five years. The 2007 award was presented by Lord Rooker last month to Paul Hume who manages an outdoor sow unit for Bowes of Norfolk.

  • Easton College has been involved in both winners. Part of Paul Hume's training has been provided through the East of England Pig Training Group based at the college.
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