THREE of the latest cohort of Nuffield Farming Scholars will produce reports of benefit to the poultry sector. 

Of the 2023 intake, Alistair McBain, George Roach and Sylwia Sobolewska will focus on three topics related to more sustainable and efficient poultry production. 

See also: Poultry.Network to showcase sector sustainability with new 12-month project 

Alistair McBain works for a Scottish egg producer and is responsible for managing four pullet-rearing farms in Scotland. 

Soya reduction

Seeing an opportunity to reduce emissions in egg production by decreasing soya in diets, he will review alternative protein sources that can contribute to net zero egg production in the UK. 

On his travels, he will explore the carbon life cycle of each feedstuff, its nutritional value and agronomic factors that could influence their suitability. The MacRobert Trust sponsors his scholarship.

George Roach is general manager at a family-run agri-business in North Yorkshire with six broiler units, a feed mill, renewable energy enterprises and commercial property. 

Insects as alternative protein

Since returning to the business five years ago, he has taken substantial steps to reduce the carbon footprint of the business. 

This led him to become interested in using insects as an alternative protein to soya. 

Ahead of potential impending policy changes allowing insect meal as feed for chickens, he will explore options for both industrial and small-scale insect production systems on his travels. 

This includes how they could be implemented within poultry systems in the UK and regions with more limited access to more conventional protein sources. 

The Poultry Meat Award sponsors George’s scholarship.

Nutrition and genetic improvements

And Sylwia Sobolewska is based in Shropshire and works as a senior technical & account manager for a natural animal feed additive company and specialises in supporting poultry and game bird enterprises. 

She is particularly interested in nutrition and genetics and is keen to explore methods for improving feed efficiency in layer production. 

For her scholarship, Dr Sobolewska will investigate whether feed efficiency and targeted genetic selection hold the key to performance and profitability in laying hens. She will focus on feed additives, robotics and artificial intelligence, and genetic selection tools as she travels.

The BEMB Research and Education Trust sponsored Dr Sobolewska’s award.

For more information, visit the Nuffield Farming website.