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How do we get more young people involved in the pig industry?

4th Sep 2020 / By Flavian Obiero

In the latest issue of Pig World, Young NPA member Flavian Obiero, who is pig unit manager at Plumpton College and studying part-time for an MSc in Livestock Health and Production, gave his views on how to get more young people into the pig sector

Flavian Obiero"I work at Plumpton College, a land-based college in East Sussex, where agriculture students have equal access to cattle, pigs and sheep," he said. 

"Unsurprisingly, nine out of 10 students tend to choose to work with cattle and sheep as opposed to pigs – most of them would not even have had previous exposure to pigs.

"What do the cattle and sheep industries offer that the pig industry can’t? What is it that puts young people off pigs before they’ve even worked with them?

"In my opinion, the pig industry is one of the most resilient in British farming. It provides plenty of job opportunities for anyone willing to work hard and push themselves to improve. But in the decade I have spent in the industry, it is evident that there are not enough of the young generation coming into pig farming.

"We as an industry seem to rely on the few people from pig farming families to carry on family businesses. More new entrants are needed, from all walks of life, to bring in new ideas and push the industry forward.

"There are apprenticeship schemes available – what’s lacking is the availability of apprentices. Perhaps more advertising from different bodies within the pig industry to educational establishments across the country, from inner cities to rural areas, would encourage more young people to farm pigs.

"The lack of exposure to pigs shouldn’t be a hindrance to anyone thinking about a job in the industry. Pig farmers are always willing to teach and employ anyone that is ambitious and hard-working."

You can read the full article HERE