There is still time to vote for the poultry trainee of the year

Poultry World has profiled over the last three months the three finalists of the Pfizer Trainee of the Year Award 2008 and now you only have just two weeks left to vote for your winner.

The three finalists are battling for more than £2500 of prizes, including the award itself which is to be presented by DEFRA minister Lord Rooker during a ceremony at the Houses of Parliament. It also includes a training programme of his or her choice and a day and night in London to attend the ceremony.

Here is a quick reminder of the three finalists.

Finalist 1: Daniel Bush

A year ago Daniel Bush wasn’t even looking after chickens. Although he had been working for Crown Chicken in East Anglia for 10 years, it was mainly driving feed trucks.

He had become familiar with the company’s sites and with those of Crown Milling customers. Sometimes he had helped out on farms at weekends and then the chance arose for a site manager for an 180,000-bird broiler unit at Swainsthorpe a few miles south of Norwich. And he hasn’t looked back with the unit under Daniel’s control going from an “average” ranking to the “top 10%” of Crown’s 24 sites.

His employer Matthew Ward, agricultural director of Crown Chicken, believes that Daniel has the potential to become an area manager within the next five years.

Daniel has recently completed an NVQ Level 3, which was provided by nearby Easton College, done mainly through one-to-one instruction by the visiting trainer/assessor.

Read the full profile of Daniel Bush

Finalist 2: Martin Womack

Martin Womack was working in the building trade when he learned from a friend of an opportunity to try his hand looking after chickens – and four years on, he has never looked back.

Whether you speak to Martin’s employer, Tim, Banham Poultry broiler fieldsman Chris Darkins or the training providers Poultec Training, you’ll hear the same story. How quickly he got to grips with the duties and how keen he was to learn all about poultry husbandry.

He showed “massive enthusiasm” in tackling the Apprenticeship in Livestock Production course, which he finished in February 2006, moving on to the NVQ Level 3 qualification completed in March this year. The apprenticeship took in NVQ Level 2 in Livestock Production [poultry], key skills Level 1 in application of number, communication and IT skills, first aid and a short course in poultry welfare.

Read the full profile of Martin Womack

Finalist 3: Christopher Burton

Like the other finalists, Christopher Burton did not consider the poultry industry when he left high school at Coningsby in south Lincolnshire to study sports science at Boston College.

It was after gaining his National Diploma in Sports Science and while looking for a position in sport that he came to Moy Park as a chick operative in February 2004. He liked the company and has progressed since, now being relief farm manager.

He faced a steep learning curve, needing to gain a good working knowledge of all the 25 farms he might have to cover – ranging in size from 100,000 birds upwards and extending across much of Lincolnshire.

He began his formal training with Poultec Training gaining an NVQ 3 in Poultry Production and since his latest appointment he has completed the first year of a foundation degree course in primary food production and the environment with the University of Lincoln.

Read the full profile of Christopher Burton

What to do next?

Read their full profiles and select your winner.

You can vote either by phone (0845 4026 527), fax (0845 4026 528) or email ( simply stating your choice followed by your name and contact telephone number. Deadline for voting is 17 October.

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