Fifteen young producers have won a place at the British Free Range Egg Producers’ Association (BFREPA) conference in mid-November.  

Ranging from 18 to 30-years-old, the group will attend BFREPA Live in Telford next month with entrance to the event, a seat at the awards dinner, and hotel accommodation all included. 

See also: 3 people who found sterling careers in the poultry sector 

Aberdeenshire-based Angus and Lauren Dowell are among those selected. The married couple recently began their venture into free range with their first flock of 64,000 birds, which was delivered in August.

“We’ve only had our hens for six weeks, and BFREPA Live will be a great way for us to get involved in the wider industry,” Lauren said. “It’ll be good to speak to industry experts who can help us expand our knowledge as we venture into a new industry for us.”

Also winning a place is 18-year-old Emily Hollins, an agriculture student from Reaseheath College. 

Knowledge

“I am keen to meet like-minded young producers alongside interacting with senior members and hearing about their personal journeys within the sector,” Emily said. “I think this is a great opportunity to learn more about new initiatives in the industry and generally expand my knowledge.” 

The other winners are: Caleb Samuel, Richard Mottershead, Henry Gibbs, William Powell, Catherine Price, Bethany Irwin, Natalie and Alex Wrath, Harrison Hollins, Samuel Barker, Rebecca Goodings, and Charlie Forsyth. 

Richard Jones, national poultry business manager at Wynnstay Humphrey Feeds and Pullets, which supported the competition, said: “We are delighted to support the inaugural BFREPA Young Producers Initiative for the 2023 event. 

Next generation

“It is paramount to our industry that we nurture the next generation of producers by facilitating their participation in industry events.

“This commitment is integral to securing a prosperous future for the free-range egg industry.”

BFREPA Live 23 has been reformatted into a one-day conference and exhibition, with the BFREPA Free Range Awards dinner, hosted by comedian Al Murray, taking place in the evening.

During the day, BFREPA Chairman James Baxter will tell his avian influenza story for the first time. Mr Baxter’s 192,000 hens were culled in January after contracting bird flu.

There will also be a panel on AI vaccination, hosted by BFREPA CEO Robert Gooch with APHA’s Gordon Hickman, Dave Hodson from Rosehill Poultry, and Crowshall’s vet Ian Lowery joining as panellists. 

Tickets for BFREPA Live 23 and the dinner on Wednesday 15 November are still on sale at www.bfrepa.co.uk.

BFREPA members who purchase tickets are entitled to receive a refund of one ticket per membership, refunded against next years’ membership subscription.