This year’s winner of the British Poultry Council/BOCM PAULS Poultry Person of the Year is egg industry stalwart Jeff Vergerson (pictured right), who was presented with the award at the Egg and Poultry Industry Conference at the Forest of Arden hotel, Birmingham.
Originally a teacher, Mr Vergerson set up in poultry in the early 1980s, building one of the first free-range units in the country. His business eventually grew into a producer group with over one million hens.
He was also a co-founder of the group that was to become the British Free Range Egg Producers Association, and today sits on a number of industry groups and acts as a consultant.
Mr Vergerson was described as a gentleman and a “true servant of the poultry industry” by BOCM PAULS director Jonathan Farnhill.
Meanwhile, poultry vet Philip Hammond of Crowshall Veterinary Services took home the EPIC Young Poultry Person of the Year award.
Mr Hammond was recognised as “a young person making an impression”, winning the award set up in 2012 in memory of egg processor Clive Frampton.
Fellow vet Keith Warner said Mr Hammond’s “unique and infectious enthusiasm, coupled with clarity of thought and practical skills are an invaluable asset to his poultry practice”.
Mr Hammond won a similar accolade from the World Veterinary Poultry Association earlier this year.