NPA blog: Getting to know the industry in my first two weeks in the role
10th Nov 2023 / By Katie Jarvis
The NPA's newest staff recruit, Katie Jarvis, gives her thoughts on her first two weeks in the role.
It has been two weeks since I started as Senior Policy Adviser with the NPA, and I have certainly been busy.
As well as attending online meetings on all sorts of topics, I’ve been lucky enough to get out and about quite a bit so far, which is massively helping the build my knowledge of the pig sector.
It’s clear that all pig producers will be doing something slightly different from each other, but thanks to visits to Phil Stephenson’s farm in Yorkshire and Rob Mutimer’s in Norfolk, I now have a much better idea of the scope within the industry and the key differences between indoor and outdoor management. A huge thanks to them, their families and teams for hosting me and answering my many questions!
I have also spent two days in Coventry at the joint Pig Veterinary Society and Society of Feed Technologies autumn conference. It’s never easy walking into a room full of people you don’t know as I did there, but I soon learned that everyone in the pig sector is incredibly friendly and welcoming.
The conference itself was fascinating, with great speakers on topics ranging from contaminated feed, consumer demands and how to manage reduction of zinc oxide. The passion that speakers and the audience had for all of the topics was clear.
For me the biggest takeaways were on the nutrition side, with which I am less familiar, and the incredible levels of knowledge and detail that goes into testing and creating feed rations in order to produce the healthiest pigs and to solve any issues in the herd.
We all know that there are plenty of challenges facing the industry, but it was great to be in a room of people who are all active in the pig sector and are all doers, not just talkers.
Over the next few weeks I will also be heading out to visit feed mills, vets, pharmaceutical experts and more, as I get to grips with the whole supply chain.
There are also the National Pig Awards and the Young NPA National, where I am looking forward to meeting many more NPA members. If you see me out and about, please do say hello, and apologies in advance for all the questions!