Posted 27 July
An agriculture student, who had never set foot on a poultry farm, has won a coveted award after a year’s placement with one of the industry’s UK leaders.
Chloe Gimson won the 2020 Axworthy Cup and Robin Faccenda Prize - presented to the student who obtained the highest marks in practical and written work during placement year within the poultry industry.
She now has her eyes firmly fixed on becoming an agri-business consultant by using the knowledge learned during the placement at Banham Poultry based in Norfolk.
The award citation said: “Chloe had never set foot on a poultry farm before, so spending 12 twelve months working for one of the UK’s major poultry companies was set to be a challenge.
“However, in her typically calm manner, Chloe made quite an impact during her time with the company, and in doing so, achieved an overall mark of 90%. Having transferred to BSc (Hons) Agriculture with Farm Business Management post placement, it is clear that the future of UK agriculture is in good hands.”
Chloe said: “Having grown up on an outdoor breeding pig farm, I have been exposed to agriculture all my life. However, I didn’t originally plan on going into the industry.
“I took a gap year after A-levels and got more involved with the farm at home, did a season of lambing, also grain sampled and worked in the laboratory. That was when I decided agriculture was the route I wanted to go down.
“Banham Poultry is a fully integrated poultry business and my role there was Agriculture Technical Assistant. I started my placement with no previous poultry experience - thinking I would try something completely new.
“As well as being with the technical team, I spent time on a broiler farm, laying farm, the hatchery and within the processing plant which really helped to increase my poultry knowledge.
“My year was extremely varied and I enjoyed it very much. I would frequently visit farms to audit them or for general visits - I tried to schedule farm visits three to four times a week but it was very important that biosecurity protocol was followed.
“My placement project was looking at different water sanitation systems on poultry sites so a lot of my time was spent on-farm taking water samples. When in the office, I would get involved in all aspects of the technical team from writing audits, interpreting data and getting involved with quality assurance.
“I also spent a week at a poultry specialist vet practice which was a fantastic insight, and learning all stages of the food supply chain in the poultry industry has improved my knowledge immensely.
“I love it at Harper Adams. The mix of theory and practical work is fantastic and you really do put into practice what you learn. The assignments become more real life through the years because many are based on real data and farms and businesses.
“My aim is to become an agri-business consultant, utilising all the knowledge I learnt over placement. I am hoping there will be an opportunity to get involved with pig and poultry businesses through this career choice.
“I am also on the national executive committee for Ladies in Pigs - an organisation that promotes British Pork, and I would love to start something similar in the poultry industry.”