Bill Wiggin MP congratulated Herefordshire breeder farm manager Nicholas Ham, the winner of the 2013 Zoetis / British Poultry Council Trainee of the Year Award at the House of Commons.

Mr Ham was presented with his award, including a £2000 training grant, by the Farming Minister George Eustice at the British Poultry Council’s annual awards ceremony at the House of Commons on 2 December 2 with his local MP Bill Wiggin of North Herefordshire in attendance.

Bill Wiggin MP for North Herefordshire said: “I offer Nicholas my sincere congratulations for winning such a prestigious award.

From left to right is BPC Chairman John Reed, Award winner Nicholas Ham and partner Stacey Hamblin and Bill Wiggin MP
From left to right BPC Chairman John Reed, Award winner Nicholas Ham and partner Stacey Hamblin and Bill Wiggin MP

“North Herefordshire has a long history of producing and nurturing farming talents and I wish Nicholas every success as he continues his education.”

Nicholas Ham joined Cargill Meats Europe three years ago as an assistant on a 35,000–bird broiler breeder farm near Woolhope, Hereford, and after two years was promoted to run the unit. Uncertain about prospects for motor engineers facing the economic recession, he had chosen to begin a career in poultry rather than study engineering at university and worked initially on a free-range egg laying unit near Gloucester for three years.

John Nicholls, Cargill breeder manager, praised his ‘good attention to detail and excellent stockmanship skill’ – with training both in-company and through Poultec helping his development and promotion.

Nicholas Ham gained a level 3 diploma in work-based agriculture during the summer, and plans to use the grant money to progress to higher level qualification and to further his knowledge of bird health.  He would like to widen his experience of the broiler breeder sector and has his sights on becoming a fieldsman or area manager.

Members of the judging panel said: “All three finalists showed dedication to the industry and a desire to progress within it. However, Nicholas’ enthusiasm stood out and his plans for using the grant money would clearly benefit both him and his current employer.”

The Zoetis / British Poultry Council Trainee of the Year Award is chosen by a judging panel comprising Philip Clarke, editor of Poultry World; Richard Griffiths, senior executive officer of BPC; John Newton, senior poultry consultant of ADAS, and Nigel Lodge, national veterinary manager of Zoetis.  In addition to the £2000 training grant, Nicholas Ham receives an engraved trophy with another trophy for Cargill Meats Europe.

The award, which recognises ability, enthusiasm and progress through training, is sponsored by Zoetis in conjunction with the British Poultry Council and the magazine Poultry World.