2017 speakers

Topics will range from future disease threats to the latest scientific research on poultry health.

Jake Davies

Jake Davis is an experienced trade journalist specialising food, farming and rural affairs.

Based in the UK, he joined Proagrica in 2012 as a reporter for Farmers Weekly and is now an editor of Poultry World, the leading independent magazine serving the commercial poultry sector in the UK.

Jake Davies
Poultry World

Graeme Cooke

Graeme was appointed by Defra as Deputy Chief Veterinary Officer for the United Kingdom in January 2017. Responsibilities include supporting the Government on animal health and welfare issues at national and international levels, acting as lead Government spokesperson, ensuring appropriate advice to Ministers, strategic planning and leading the Defra response to outbreaks of exotic animal disease and other threats, including public health. He works closely with CVOs across all the UK administrations and is part of the representation of the UK in the EU and internationally, negotiating on behalf of the UK Government. He has a particular lead on imports policy, regulatory enforcement, surveillance and International Engagement. Based in Westminster, London, he worked at Defra previously from 2001 – 2007, leaving to undertake a full time MBA at a London Business School.

Prior to re-joining Defra, Graeme had a non-veterinary strategy role within MOD. His is a past member of expert groups at the World Animal Health Organisations (OIE), EU panels, and the International Horse Sports Confederation (IHSC) board.

Graeme Cooke
Deputy Chief Veterinary Officer

Sharon Brookes

Sharon Brookes has been the Head of the Avian Virology and Mammalian Influenza Work Group since December 2013. She has also been a veterinary virologist for thirty years, studying for her PhD at Australian Animal Health Laboratory and later becoming a project leader at Veterinary Laboratories Agency in Weybridge and a team leader at the Animal Health and Veterinary Laboratories agency.

Her expertise is in animal models of disease pathogenesis and cross-species infection. She also specializes in vaccine protection and disease intervention as well as bio-safety and bio security.

Sharon Brookes
Head of Avian Virology and Mammalian Influenza
Animal & Plant Health Agency (APHA)

Will Jackson

Will is a Senior Agriculture Manager for Poultry at Co-op, he also has responsibility for compliance and agricultural policy within the business. Will has worked in the agriculture industry for most of his career. Growing up on a dairy farm in Derbyshire he then went on to work in dairy processing before moving to Co-op in 2015. He now works with the various stakeholders who feed into Co-op’s turkey, chicken and egg supply, working especially closely with the producers that make up the Co-op farming groups.

Will Jackson
Senior Agriculture Manager

Phil Hammond

Dr. Phil Hammond is an independent poultry veterinary consultant based in the UK and a partner at Crowshall Veterinary Services LLP. Phil is also the UK WVPA branch secretary and current President of the British Veterinary Poultry Association as well as Chairman for the local organising committee of the WVPA 2017 Global Congress in Edinburgh in September of this year. Phil was WVPA Young Poultry Veterinarian of the Year in 2013 and has now been a poultry veterinarian for 14 years.

Dr. Phil Hammond
Partner, Crowshall Veterniary Services
President, BVPA

Dr. Ruth Cromie

As the Wildfowl & Wetlands Trust’s head of Ecosystem health, Ruth is responsible for a programme of work understanding and managing health in wetlands including surveillance, research, contingency planning, capacity building, advocacy and policy work.

In terms of avian influenza, Ruth manages wild bird surveillance for Defra at WWT’s 10 UK wetland nature reserves, sits on Defra’s Ornithological Expert Panel, and has undertaken numerous international wild bird surveillance missions for FAO and others. She has worked on resolutions and guidance for multilateral environmental agreement and acts as the de facto coordinator of the UN-FAO-Convention on Migratory Species Scientific Task Force on Avian Influenza and Wild Birds. As WWT also manages captive collections of birds, Ruth is familiar with AI contingency planning from the zoo perspective.

Dr. Ruth Cromie
Head of Ecosystem Health
Wildfowl & Wetlands Trust (WWT)

Daniel Dring

Daniel has worked at PD Hook Group Ltd for 14 years, a family owned business hatching 10 million chicks per week and growing 6 million of these within the Hook2Sisters broiler operation. He is responsible for bird welfare, legislation and QC, campylobacter and antibiotic reduction strategy. Daniel is also a member of JWG on campylobacter reduction for on farm biosecurity measures and the Defra Poultry Sector Producer Group. He is also responsible for Group AI control and licensing, which has involved either his facilities or Contract farmers for most of the outbreaks across the country.

Daniel Dring
Group Poultry Welfare Officer
PD Hook

Gary Ford

Gary Ford was appointed NFU Chief Poultry Adviser in September 2013 having joined the NFU in January 2009 as a Group Secretary based in Staffordshire. Gary’s practical poultry experience came as an agricultural manager in the broiler industry where he worked for ten years before he joined the NFU. In this role he was responsible for all aspects of production on company farms as well as contract growers – a role that brought him into contact with many of the key players that are involved in the poultry sector today.

Gary is based at the NFU’s headquarters in Stoneleigh, Warwickshire however he also spends time at the NFU’s London and Brussels offices. Covering both the poultry meat and egg sector Gary’s role is to promote the interests of NFU poultry members and to provide support – the recent AI cases being a good example.

Gary has a degree in Law from the University of Staffordshire and a degree in Agriculture from Writtle Agricultural College, Essex. Gary is from a farming background – his parents are beef and sheep farmers from Worcestershire.

Gary Ford
Chief Poultry Adviser
NFU Mutual

Joanne McStraw

Joanne joined Kilco in 2011 as a Biosecurity Area Manager, but she traces her first interest in the company back to her college days. While studying at CAFRE College of Agriculture and Rural Enterprise, Joanne received an award from Kilco Chemical LTD for her achievements in microbiology. This sparked a desire to work for Kilco that drew her to the company 7 years later.

Joanne leads a team of specialists within the poultry supply sector; with the goal of implementing the highest standards of hygiene and biosecurity practices across the poultry supply chain. This includes poultry farms, hatcheries, feedmills, transport and processing facilities. Joanne has spent time with industry leaders to investigate the pressures around C&D and biosecurity.

Her passion for good hygiene practices and research enabled her to design and develop a digital tracking and trending system for performing and recording hygiene assessments focused on the critical control points. This data allows Kilco to provide personalised recommendations to customers based on their results as well as monitor local and national trends.

Joanne believes that by working together the industry can grow, raising the already high standards as well as raising livestock to secure our Agri-Food chain for future generations.

Joanne McStraw
Agri-Food Business Development Manager

Mark Williams

Mark Williams is a poultry farmer’s son. After studying at Harper Adams Agricultural College in Shropshire, he managed a large pullet rearing/egg production unit. Following gaining valuable experience, he returned home to expand the business.

In 1991, he joined the National Farmers’ Union as a Regional Poultry Adviser in the north of England. In 1995, he was appointed National Egg Specialist. He joined the British Egg Industry Council in 1999 and became Chief Executive in 2000.

His additional roles include: Secretary-General of EUWEB (the EU trade association for egg packers, egg traders and egg processors) since 1999. He is currently the President of the EU Civil Dialogue Group on Poultry and Eggs. He is a Board member of CELCAA (the EU liaison committee for the food trade).

He was President of the European Commission’s Advisory Group on ‘Poultrymeat and Eggs’ from 2010 to 2012. He is also a Nuffield Scholar, and was Chairman of the Nuffield Poultry Study Group from May 2012 – May 2015. He was chairman of the UK Poultry Health and Welfare Group during 2015 and 2016. He was Statistical Adviser to the International Egg Commission from 1996 – 2006.

Mark Williams
Chief Executive
British Egg Industry Council

Jean-Paul Michalski

Jean-Paul has almost 30 years experience working within the UK poultry industry having joined the Deans business in the late eighties. He has a wealth of experience having managed farms producing in conventional and colony cages, barn and some early aviary systems before moving on and specialising mainly in free range and organic.

From 2009, jean-Paul was the National Production Manager for Noble Foods, heading up the rearing division, rearing approximately 4.5 million birds per annum for both company farms and independent contract producers and also overseeing the company portfolio of organic and free range units across the UK. For the last nine months Jean-Paul has worked as the head of Agriculture for Noble Foods using the knowledge he has gained over the years to drive agricultural policy and support and assist all Nobles retail customers.

Jean-Paul Michalski
Head of Agriculture, Consumer Foods Division
Noble Foods

Chris Stanford

Chris is the found and Managing Director of Arden Wood Shavings Ltd. Under Chris’ stewardship Arden has grown to be one of the UK’s leading bedding suppliers, focusing on the demands and challenges of meeting the requirements of the poultry sector. Arden now supplies in excess of 60,000 tonnes annually making it one of the country’s largest bedding suppliers.

Arden has been responsible for important innovations with a particular emphasis on bio-secure manufacturing, processing and delivery systems which have now come to be accepted as best practice in the industry.

Chris and his team have developed systems based on the science of the industry and in recent years Arden has partnered with leading academic life science institutions to carry out ground breaking research into poultry disease control. This year Chris founded a new spin out company Arden Biotechnology Ltd to continue this research and to develop controls that are planned to soon benefit the UK and global poultry industry.

Chris Stanford
Managing Director
Arden Wood Shavings Ltd

Arnold Elson

Arnold is a highly qualified and experience poultry specialist with expertise in poultry systems, equipment and bird welfare. He is an acknowledged world expert in the design and management of furnished laying cages, alternative, conventional and organic free-range egg production systems, broiler feeders and drinkers and other equipment associated with poultry production.

He is responsible for ADAS poultry welfare and systems R&D and consultancy worldwide. An impressive list of publications reflects his standing in the poultry science community and the poultry industry. In 2006 he was invested by Queen Elizabeth with the OBE for services to the poultry industry. He has been a scientific facilitator in part of the recently completed EU H2020 Hennovation programme.

Arnold Elson
International Consultant in Poultry Systems/Welfare

Michael Clark

After four years in mixed practice in the Cotswolds, Michael moved to Minster Vets in York in 1996. His mentor, Gregor Grant, guided him from mixed practitioner to poultry vet over the following few years. In 2000 Mike set up the Minster poultry office and became a partner in the business. After setting up the Sutton Bonington office in 2005 Minster became a clinical associate of Nottingham Vet School and Mike is now an Honorary Associate Professor of Poultry Medicine. He was awarded and MBA from Nottingham Business School in 2011 and Mike sits on numerous industry and veterinary committees including AHWBE and BVPA. In October 2017 Mike joined Boehringer Ingelheim as an Avian Veterinary Adviser.

Michael Clark
Avian Veterinary Adviser
Boehringer Ingelheim Ltd

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