Potential new entrants to pig production can get a head start at Riseholme College, Lincolnshire, in a new initiative aimed at encouraging, recruiting and training producers.

The Fresh Start Pig Academy, starting on 24 January, will cover setting up and running a pig unit, along with the business and management strategy needed to make it profitable and successful.

Mentoring will also be a feature of the programme, which hopes to match farmers with land, straw and feed with partners who want to produce pigs profitably.

“The demand for quality British fresh pork is continuing to grow, so there is a need to encourage existing farmers and new entrants to look afresh at production as a route into farming,” said academy co-ordinator Sophie Hope.

Organisations involved include Fresh Start, pig production company BQP and the National Pig Association. The programme starts with an initial no commitment launch meeting on 24 January and runs for 13 fortnightly meetings thereafter.