Agriculture Graduates fly the Writtle flag in Industry

December 2011

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(NOTE: This is an archived press release.)

Jonathan McKenchie and Sophie Howe, both Agriculture graduates from Writtle College, have something special to celebrate this month having achieved highly competitive places on industry led schemes.

Jonathon, who graduated in 2009 with a BSc (Hons) Agriculture and Business Management from Writtle College, has recently been accepted on to a new graduate training scheme with the Animal nutrition solutions provider Provimi.

Sophie, who graduated in September 2011 from Writtle and is now Pig Unit Manager at the College’s Sturgeons Farm, is one of ten pig unit mangers to start on the BPEX Professional Manager Development Scheme (PMDS) in January 2012.

According to Provimi commercial pig manager Tim Sawyer: “This is an important development for both us and for the UK pig industry. Already, in the first three months, Jonathon has spent time on Provimi’s research unit in Holland and attended technical conferences with representatives from the company’s pig teams worldwide.”

Jonathon, himself recently commented: “The opportunity to attend an international technical conference in my first month was fantastic. There was a lot to take in, but so many new developments to learn about. And the experience of working on a wide range of pig units is invaluable. I’m experiencing the whole production chain and getting a feel for the application of new nutritional ideas in a practical environment.”

Managers on the BPEX scheme will attend a number of training sessions during the 18-month course. Each will kick off with an evening presentation focusing on a particular sector of the industry, followed by a day of management training. There will also be work-based projects relevant to the manager’s current role. On successful completion of the course, managers will gain a nationally-recognised qualification from the Institute of Leadership and Management.

Sophie commented: “I am pleased to have been selected from such strong competition for this important scheme. The training will not only focus on my skills and confidence, but also develop my knowledge from spending time and discussion with such candidates who have also been selected on to the scheme.”

Both schemes have been initiated by pig industry professionals who are concerned with the future. The idea behind both is to put the industry back into enthusiastic, confident and knowledgeable hands.