Posted 22 February 2016
Lauren Milligan, 19, from Glynn, near Larne, County Antrim, has been awarded a British Poultry Council scholarship, sponsored by Aviagen.
Lauren, a second year agriculture degree student, will received £4,500 this year, plus a paid one-year work placement with Aviagen.
She said: “My placement is split into four 3-month blocks. During each I will be working in a different aspect of the poultry industry.
“After the initial induction, I will then be placed on one or more of the Pedigree farms in Scotland, working alongside experienced farm staff. I will share responsibility for looking after the birds at different stages of their development. I will also learn about how Aviagen monitor the growth and development of the birds; the importance of strain security on the pedigree facilities; and the process of selection using a variety of techniques in order to identify the best birds for subsequent generations.
“Months 4-6 will be at one or more of Aviagen’s Grandparent farms in Scotland, where I will be involved in the preparation for and the placement of day-old chicks, sharing responsibility for monitoring, feeding and lighting programmes, among other duties. In addition to this I will spend a short period at an Egg Distribution Centre in Lockerbie where I will be involved in packing and shipping eggs for transfer to one of our Hatcheries in the UK or overseas.
“Next I will work at the hatchery near Stratford upon Avon, before spending the final two months at one of Aviagen’s overseas facilities.
“I feel honoured and excited to be working with Aviagen next year. When I applied for this scholarship, I knew that I was only one of many applicants, so I knew my chances of being successful could be slim.
“When I got the email telling me I received an interview, I couldn’t have been happier, and then when I was selected I was speechless!
“I have always has an interest in poultry due to family members keeping chickens for eggs and for showing. Over the years, as I have gained more experience within the poultry sector, my ambition to work with chickens has grown.
“It was then during my first year studying at Harper Adams that I realised for sure that this is a career that I would like to pursue. I know that Aviagen is a fantastic company with a brilliant reputation - this is why they were my first choice for my placement.”