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AgriCulture Live Podcast Transcript - Episode 15

AgriCulture Live - Episode 15 with Mark Jagger from BQP Transcript
"The Pig Farming Industry in the UK and Career Opportunities Available"

Rebekah 00:00

Hello and welcome to AgriCulture Live. My name is Rebekah Shields. I'm one of the directors at Agricultural Recruitment Specialists. Now don't go anywhere. You don't want to miss this. We've got a great episode all about pig farming and the careers available in the UK. If you have got any comments or questions, please post them and we'll come to them when we can. So I'm here with Mark - Mark Jagger. Mark, would you like to introduce yourself?

Mark 00:30

Good morning. Yes, I'm Mark Jagger. I work for BQP. Originally started in beef and sheep over in North Wales and moved across the country back in the late 80s, started on a pig farm after leaving agricultural college, just due to the fact that there was no work available in the North West, and then in the early 90s started working on a breeding unit for a competitor. Managed that unit for about four years and then, through financial difficulties - anyone in the pig industry realises that sometimes you get a job and you don't get an increase in pay and after four years of no increase in pay had to move on and joined BQP, which was in those days J Bibby Agriculture.


Some of the older people will recognise the name very much as a pig finishing fieldsman. My love, I thought at the time, was in breeding herds and I thought get into a big firm and make my way through to the breeding side of things. What I didn't realise was that actually working on the finishing side of pigs was very exciting, quite cutting edge, even though no one ever talks about it. And I'm here still 30 years later. So I'm sort of, in a funny way, a bit of the old furniture of BQP just through the fact that I've been here, along with another colleague of mine, Richard Gooding, for over 30 years now with the company

Rebekah 02:00

It must be a good company to work for if you've been there that long

Mark 02:06

Um, yeah, I think we can all sit there, as employees and see the faults in a company, um, when you've worked with other companies that maybe have more faults and you get one that you actually feel comfortable with.


Yeah, I think they're a good company. They're honourable, they try and do what they say on the tin. They do treat animal welfare as high as possible. That is one of their pillars within the business and always has been, and that's why I've stayed. I could probably get more money elsewhere, but actually could I look myself in the mirror in the morning in regards to, maybe, what that company's doing? Um where, with this one anyone who knows me within the industry knows I can be quite outspoken and have been to my bosses and they've listened. They might turn around and say “I'm not taking that Mark”, but they will listen, and sometimes we have changed minds and, as a team, the same thing. The team has listened too and I think that's important, you know you don't want to be at the, the sort of the grassroots of the job and feel that the bosses aren't listening to you and maybe other places can learn from that.

Rebekah 03:19

So why agriculture? Why pigs? Where did it all come from?

Mark 03:22

It came from as a youngster, as a six-year-old, I was very lucky that I was. My father was a parish priest in wensleydale up in North Yorkshire, and I was sent to a private school, believe it or not, I was a chorister at Ripon Cathedral and that meant that you had longer holidays. It was a boarding school. So, I came back to this little rural village, nothing to do, and there was a young farm labourer at the time who I was chatting to, as you do as a six-year-old in those days, and he said don't just stand there, grab hold of that bucket and start helping me, which I did. And within seconds, seconds, I was hooked. And that was a little dairy farm - 23 cows, working on churn. So I'm showing my age now and I loved it and I caught the bug.


I wanted to be a vet, because of James Herriot, and sadly I've got dyslexia and I would never have been intelligent enough in those days to become a vet. You used to be able to get there through hard graft and then James Herriot wrote his books and everyone had to be academic to get there. And that's right that they have to be academic. I'm not an academic type of person, very practical. So, I then went to look at the farming industry. My father was anti it. He was an academic and he felt I should be going much higher into academia. So we had battles early on from the age of 10 because I couldn't do academic/academia at all, I could do farming, loved farming, loved the lifestyle, the fact it's a vocational job, and eventually, after several years of working free on farms, because my father was determined to break me and I had to work free, no pay, and at the age of 16, 17, my life was planned out with a another farmer called Mr John, who was an exceedingly good farmer and it was laid out and Mr Wrench said I will turn him into a stockman. So that was up in the North West and it was beef and sheep, loved the job. And sadly, for the older farmers they'll remember Chernobyl went off and Margaret Thatcher came out and did dairy quotas. So I went to college with a job and a life job. I came back, his sheep were radioactive and he'd gone and sold his dairy quota. So there was no job for me. I moved down.


At the time we were 45 unemployment in the northwest at that point in time in 1987. So I moved to a place called Market Harborough, unemployed, but that wasn't a problem in those days. Market Harborough was screaming out for shop assistants and things like that. I wouldn't do that.


And there was a chap called John Stones, who was a pig farmer who was looking for a labourer, and the employment agency said Stones and Jagger go together. So I suggest you go and have a chat with him. I did. I walked in knowing nothing about pigs and, if I'm brutally honest, every pig lecture that we went to- we were generally recovering from a hangover at Agricultural College for the pig lectures. I'd never seen a pig. And he said in the job interview “What do you know about pigs?” And I said “Well, the only thing I know is three months, three weeks, three days pregnancy.” He said “You've got the job!” because that's a lot more than all the Corby steel workers who he was employing at the time. We'd all been made redundant new. So I got the job.


Lady luck was there and within six months I was the assistant manager, using just livestock skills that I'd learned in the beef and sheep industry within the pig industry. They are transferable skills and I think that's important. People realize that and just graft, learn the job while you're there and that's really how I got into the pig industry. I didn't like it. It was very intensive in those days and I suppose my falling out with the man was when he started planating sows on a Wednesday, so they farrowed before the weekend, so he wasn't paying overtime. That's where we fell out and then fortunately, I suppose, for me he decided to get rid of the sows. He knew he wouldn't keep me because my love was sows and boars, so he offered me voluntary redundancy and I then went to work for Bows at Norfolk on an outdoor site because I wanted to get back out under the blue skies, not working in buildings all the time.

Rebekah 08:12

So, tell us about Mark, the state of the UK pig industry. Where are they at the moment?

Mark 08:19

At the moment. Feed price is going down. Pork price is going up, so it's looking fairly healthy. Feed price is going down, pork price is going up, so it's looking fairly healthy. We're not self-sufficient by a long way. I think it's about 40, 45% self-sufficiency in the pig industry.


There's a massive room for expansion in regards. We've got the abattoirs. They're all fighting for pork and as a company my job is to try and move that forward and find new farms to join us and the company wants somewhere in the region of 300,000 pig places in the next few years. That I've got to find. To put that in perspective, the last 10 years I've managed to achieve about 120,000 pig places. So for me to achieve that in the next five years, well, let's be honest, it's a target that's impossible, but I'll give it a good go and there are opportunities, I think, now for the arable farmers, the cattlemen, to convert one of their buildings that's maybe not being utilised into keeping pigs for us and all the you know and all the other businesses or the other B&B guys are in the same boat.

Rebekah 09:28

So, your role at Pilgrims is to get more farmers into pig farming. So, tell us how can you become a pig farmer in the UK? You know you're an arable farmer or whatever. How do you go about it?

Mark 09:43

Basically from a BQP point of view. They call me. We do an on-farm visit. I go and meet the farmer. I'll send him some paperwork first to have a read-through and check. He is really interested.


Two ways into the business. One is you build new and after COVID, unfortunately building price, concrete price, steel price, everything's gone up. So your return on investment for that is in the low one or two percent return on investment. You have got the benefit of the farmyard manure that comes out the end of the building, out the end of the building. The second way is you generally on arable farms and cattle farms, sheep farms, have got a spare building that's not been utilised at all. So again I go and have a look at that building, measure it out, come back to the office, lay it out, lay a farm plan out, work out how many pigs can be put in that building, what infrastructure needs to be to service the pigs in the building, cost all that out and then give the farmer a cash flow that's a 20-year cash flow, showing what his earnings should be, what his interest on the loan should be. And the way we look at it is if after six years all the money that is invested in that building is paid off, then we've done our job.


It's down to the farmer. Then do I want to tie myself up? And it's a big tie for arable guys that actually got livestock on the farm and now you're 24/7, not 365 days a year, but when those pigs are in six month batch, you are there all the time. You have to be there all the time. It fits in nicely with the arable operation. I mean, a lot of arable guys are worried about harvest and things like that. 95 percent of our farmers are arable farmers and they generally do the pigs in the summertime when it's really hot and the harvest is taking place earlier in the morning in the coolness of the of the morning, and then get on with the harvest after that. So, it fits in well with the arable operation.

Rebekah 11:52

So, for people that may be interested, is it a good industry to be in, and why?

Mark 11:59

I think the main reason why, when you talk to our farmers that do it - is it's a standard cash flow. They are paid on a monthly basis and most things in farming aren't paid. If you look at you know you, we listened to Jeremy Clarkson’s last recording. You know he was saying yeah, I've earned myself £140,000 this year, but I'm now going to give it to cheerful Charlie straight away to buy the seed, the fertiliser for next year. So where, with the pigs, if you've got a thousand pigs, you'll be paid just a little over £3,000 pounds every month on the same day of the month. That is a cash flow that isn't really achieved in agriculture.


Very often, you know, you and I, we're paid by employers and we get our pay every month on the same day of the month and that's what the bank's like for the farmer. They say, yeah, well, now we can give you a loan because you've got an income coming in on a monthly basis. The other reason the arable guys like it is 2,000 pigs will produce you 1, 1400 ton of good quality farmyard manure and, after spreading, some of our farmers are saying that's worth £16,000-£18,000 pounds in fertiliser costs and it improves the soil structure. It improves soil health, which is very much a topic that's been discussed. In the arable side of things and the regen side, it's all soil health. So, the pigs help with that, even though they are in the shed.

Rebekah 13:25

Okay, and are you committed to high welfare?

Mark 13:32

Very much so. All our pigs are RSPCA assured within BQP. Our predominant market or predominant retailers are Waitrose and the Co-op, who again are backing British all the way through and are about high welfare. So, if you go into either of those stores, you will buy a BQP product when you're in the store. If you buy pork.

Rebekah 13:57

And what about sustainability? Because that's a big buzzword at the minute.

Mark 14:02

It is a big buzzword. We're owned by a firm called Pilgrims Europe. They're very much turning their factories into that side of things. And on sustainability, regarding the energy, because our abattoirs are very high on energy usage, the sustainability that we're looking at and the biggest savings we can make is on our rations within the pigs, so we're reducing our soya in use and in the last five years, kilos of carbon to produce a kilo of meat. We are now against the UK half of what the UK meat is on, on that side of things.


On kilos of carbon use, um, I haven't got the figures off the top of my head, but I think it's below four kilos of carbon now. So they are looking at that. We have got a raft of people who are constantly looking at that. Um, without a doubt at the minute with Brexit, all of a sudden, what was classed as dirty water is now classed slurry and the whole industry is having to speed up on that sort of ideas of how do we handle that? Um, the mix of dirty water/slurry. I think one that's forgotten in this sustainability argument is antimicrobial resistance, which is probably a big threat to the humans than even global warming. Dare I say that? But you know they're talking. World Health Organization say, if we don't stop that, 50 million people a year will die by 2050 from antimicrobial resistance.


And that's been very much led by the machines we've put into the piggeries to ensure that we're medicating at the correct levels. Our vets don't use drugs willy-nilly. They ensure that there's an autopsy done and when we look at having to medicate we're using the right drug. Are we getting the correct performance from that drug, i.e., are we seeing recovery rates correct? If not, what do we do? So yeah, there's a lot going on, on that side of things. That's maybe very complicated for people outside agriculture to understand.

Rebekah 16:06

So, for those considering it, what are the main benefits of being a pig farmer?

Mark 16:12

I think from a point of view as I've touched upon a standard income coming in on a monthly basis, it's not as hard work as what people think. They've just got to get the head around that you are tied 24/7. Well, not 24/7, but a thousand pigs should take about two hours a day, but you have to do that. The pigs like to be the same as all of us, in a sort of pattern in their life. So if you're going in at 7:30 every morning, please keep going in at 7.30 every morning. It upsets the pigs if you don't. So, you've got to create a routine around the pigs for your farm. So, they're the sort of downers of it.


Most farms that actually get the pigs they enjoy having the pigs in, even though they're arable farmers. They'll never tell you in the pub that they've got a load of pigs. They always tell you they've got x numbers of acres and the pigs are kept very quiet and we don't talk about that. But they enjoy it and I think that's an important thing. I think a second benefit to a lot of farming is it's a lonely occupation and having your pigs with BQP, you will have a visit from someone outside your farm on a weekly basis. I was a fieldsman for 20 odd years, you do. You know, when you visit someone for 20 years you become their friend to a certain extent, as well as the advisor. Sometimes you even become a sort of social worker, psychiatrist, someone who you can talk to about family issues and know it won't go any further and that all helps on your mental health, if you like, from a farmer point of view - it is a big issue - it always has been a big issue.


I think it's just that now we talk about it, where 20 years ago we never did talk about it, but we were there. We were, we were hearing you know troubles with children and I remember, you know my kids going off on the wild and all the rest of it, and you've just got to remind people that actually we were all like that, you know, 30, 40 years ago. We were just as bad, and bring it back into perspective. It's not clever counselling you need to do, it's just an open ear really and hearing people. And yeah, that that is an important thing that you bring in with an industry that is outside arable, that you're coming in on a regular basis and the ones that are on their own, strangely, and we have it as company policy that we actually ring them weekly to ensure that their mental health is good, because if their mental health is being challenged, they won't look after the pigs as well as we'd like. So you have got to, as a fieldsman, do a certain amount of that work.

Rebekah 18:46

What are the main drawbacks other than you said about, you know, having to stick to the routine and things like that? What are the main drawbacks of being a pig farmer, would you say, so that people go into it with open eyes?

Mark 19:06

I think the main drawback is that there's two within our system. We do a straw-based system and anyone who's done straw based system knows that this next, in two weeks time, the next six weeks, will be hard work. The pigs get hot, they suddenly stop being clean animals and defecate and urinate in the wrong place. They go in the wrong place. They create you an awful lot of hard work and it is physical labour. And unless you have someone coming on your farm on a weekly basis, saying you're not the only person in the in the world that has this problem, you feel that you're on your own fighting a thousand pigs who are going to defecate in the wrong place, and it can be very depressing there.


Um so it is having someone coming in and say look, sorry, this is what happens every year. Let's manage our way through the problem. The other is we work a batch system, and what I mean by that is all the pigs come in on one week and they all leave and then we pressure wash down. Now, let's be honest. Every now and then you have a bad batch, be it health, be it tail biting, be it other things, and no one does this job and no one's in this industry, whether it's beef, sheep, cattle, to lose stock. But when you start losing stock and you feel useless, you've, you've used medication. It's not worked and and whatever it takes its mental toll on you and again, that's why the field staff are there, but they're the two main downers about the job, I would say. And when that happens, it's yeah, you need BQP or you need friends and shoulders to cry on and whinge at.

Rebekah 20:58

So looking at the, industry as a whole for those that don't know, are there many job opportunities in the pig industry?

Mark 21:02

There are, and I think one of the things that's important to emphasise within the pig industry, there is an awful lot of females working with it as well.


My team that I work with is 50% male and female, so you know, it doesn't require strength and brawn and all the rest of it, and we've employed women in our team for well. The longest serving member of the team is 15 years this year and she's female, so they've been around for a long time and you can go from just being a pig labourer. If you like livestock and if you like lambing, get on an outdoor pig farm because you are farrowing all year round and they are seriously cute when they are born. It's good money because you are farrowing all year round and they are seriously cute when they are born. It's good money because you are working outdoors and today it looks great.


In East Anglia it's nice and sunny, not too hot. But actually, you've got to sign up to being out there in a minus 16 chill factor wind in the middle of winter and you've still got them stock to look after. You can't hide there is no way to hide out there and then you'll be in another week or two's time, maybe in 30, 40 degrees heat. So, it's a tough job. It's well paid and in winter it's short hours and in summer it's long hours. So, you can start off on that and work your way through and work your way up and become a farm manager and one of the guys when I started 30 years ago with. He now runs three or four units for BQP and you know it's funny when you look at history how it goes, he's probably a millionaire and I'm still sat there in my little house in the middle of Debenham. So you know graft and you can get it. You can be a nutritionist, you can be a vet, you can be an animal welfare person, you can be getting into the industry. You can be a pigman on finishing farms and attract a driver on the arable farm in the afternoon. The world is your oyster within the industry.


And I've gone to Otley College and Moreton Morrell College over in in the Midlands talking about agriculture. You know we all see just farms. But there isn't just farms. There's people who are out there dealing with the retailer and talking to waiters. They have to have agricultural knowledge, they have to understand the job. They generally have had to work their way up to then be able to talk to the big retailers and get them to understand what we're about, because they haven't done an agricultural course, they don't know why we do things. So really, really, if you're interested in agriculture, you need to sort of think wider than just driving a tractor in a field in the middle of Norfolk and Suffolk or the Midlands or wherever you are, or just chasing some cattle or sheep about in a field you know you can go right the way up to the top.

Rebekah 23:49

So what do you think are the main skills that people need to be successful in this industry?

Mark 23:55

I think the main skill is if you see an opportunity, you don't think about it. You take it, you grab it with both hands, you kick the door open and you go in there and you learn. Never stop learning, you. You know, every day I learn something new and I enjoy learning something new and I think that's the main skill you require. You don't need to be academic - I certainly wasn't and I still aren't, but I know people who are academic and you just don't hesitate in asking for help, because there are people.


The beauty of agriculture is everyone will give you help if you ask for it nicely. So lots of please and thank yous, lots of. I don't know how to do this. Can you show me how to do that? People will show you. You know YouTube, google it. There's no reason now to stop your education on a daily basis. It might not be formal, but if it floats your boat and anyone who knows me in the pig industry, you know I knew nothing about water several years ago. Now I'm seemingly the biggest water expert and I will say spurt, because a lot of mine leak in the country. I knew nothing about it, trained myself up and it was practical work and I think there's a lot of things that youngsters and people of my own age can do. If you just sort of say, oh, there's no one else going to do this, I'm going to have to crack on, learn it, learn the skills and then pass those skills on.

Rebekah 25:26

So, Mark, I understand there's initiatives like the Pig Industry Scholarship Programme (PISP) to get more young entrants into the sector. How can we get more entrants interested in the pig sector as a career of choice?

Mark 25:42

I think one of the things, one of the problems with the pig sector is it's probably run by old duffers like me who are one generation from the ones that are now joining the pig industry. There's loads of stuff that we can utilise, like social media, different platforms, TikTok you name it, if you want to sort of really get people that are not within our industry, interested in our industry, we have to show the successes and, and all of this is free.


It takes a little bit of time, but actually that's what the youngsters are tuned into. I think another thing if you want to get into farming or you're a farm labourer and you're a farm manager and you want to get youngsters in, stop thinking that we have to start at 7:30 in the morning and finish at 7:30 at night. The next generation are not brought up like us. They're not brought up that you've got to wear a four-time fork out in three months and you've got to graft, graft, graft, graft. They expect holidays, they expect weekends off.


Sometimes there's a whole sector of workforce - I'm talking about mums here that are maybe looking for a part-time job. Look at employing part-timers, look at all this sort of thing. If we all have to look at our own children, they don't like getting out of bed before eight o'clock in the morning. So actually start the day later, finish it later to get the hours out of them. Actually offering that might actually get you someone who you never even thought would be very good in the job.

Rebekah 27:21

There's some great points there, Mark. It's about adapting, isn't it? Because nothing stays still. People are different. I did a talk with Tess Howe from TIAH not so long ago about the new gen Z and all of that and what they want from an employer, and we have got to adapt to that as well as making sure that people are, you know, being educated on the industry as well.

Mark 27:42

I think the industry has to adapt. I enjoy social media and have a bit of fun on Twitter at times. I remember a load of farmers going off about. I think it was pig farmers and basically an abattoir wanted to pick up some pigs on a Sunday morning and last week they were all banging on about how they work seven days a week and how hard they work and they're working 18 hours a day and this abattoir then had the goal to ask them to work on the seventh day of the week and they were really letting rip that they had been asked to do it.


Well, I think the way modern life is going, it will become a seven-day week job and in this industry, is the weekend going to be Monday, Tuesday, are you gonna? You know when's it going to be? Monday, Tuesday, are you going to? You know when's it going to be? Because actually, when you actually look at what we are providing, those factories are now looking at working seven days a week and you look at a lorry firm, it's standing its lorry down for two days of the week. That's nearly sort of 15, 20% of its time it's not being used. Everyone wants everything cheaper. Well, why are we stopping a factory for two days when no one anymore really goes to football every Saturday and goes to church on a Sunday? That's historically why we stopped working on the weekend. So why has the weekend got to be Saturday and Sunday? I'm not saying whether it's right or wrong, but I'm saying those discussions are now taking place at a higher place.

Rebekah 29:11

It's good stuff. So, do the government do enough to help the pig sector?

Mark 29:18

They could do more. I think the strength of the pig sector and the poultry sector is we don't have subsidies and I don't think that's a bad thing, but I think they could and they've tried a bad thing but I think they could and they've. They've tried. You know, you look at the markets after um and is the farmer getting paid fairly for the produce he's he's paying? I think not. I think they could do more in that sector and DEFRA could certainly do more in that sector.


And, looking at it, they you know, if you're an independent and my sympathies go out to those independent farmers they really only can supply two or three major abattoirs who are supplying all our retailers. And you know, when you're a little man, it's very difficult to actually say well, I need another two pence a kilo on my pork because they just put the phone down on them. It is a bit of a fixed market and I think that in that regard, some abattoirs are better than others. Um, I'm not going to name names in that regard, but um, some are better than others and some are more honorable. But it is a business to them and it is about making a profit and with some they've got shareholders and they've got to make a better profit than others, so I think that needs to be pulled in line. Um how they do it, that's down to much cleverer people than me.

Rebekah 30:35

So it's voting day today Mark. Big, big day for parties out there. Do you think there is a party that's most aligned with the agricultural industry?

Mark 30:46

No, not really. They'd always say that we do better under Labour than anyone else. I don't know, I don't think anyone really cares about farmers until it comes to putting their banners out on their fields. And then I do believe and I'm quite sarcastic about it I do believe the Tories really care about farmers when it comes to getting their blue banners on the A140. But they've had 14 years to care about farmers when it comes to getting their blue banners on the a140. But they've had 14 years to care about farmers and they haven't really cared about them beforehand.


I think you know let's keep politics out of this, but I think maybe as a sector we come over as too blue. I don't think. Actually, I think the sector gets itself a bit confused. Most of the people I meet within the sector they're centrists. They're just common decent people who want to have a good life for them and their families and, importantly, their neighbours and their community. And whether that's whether you're Tory or whether that's Labour, I don't know, but you're certainly probably in the middle ground of politics, not very right wing and not very left wing. Do they help? I don't think any of them really care, if I'm honest.

Rebekah 32:01

Fair enough. So how do we make the pig sector more appealing?

Mark 32:08

Like I say, I think we've just got to get out there and show people that. One of my adages is if you can't take a picture and put it on social media, ask why. Ask yourself why. What are you worried about putting it out there? There's nothing the Red Tractor guys do wrong, as in the slatted farms and slatted accommodation. You know I've got one that's non-straw based um, and at certain times of year I'd prefer to be in that building.


Photography wise, it doesn't look as pretty as pigs on straw, but actually we've got to show that side of the industry as well. It is exciting. It does produce a pig in a funny way at a cheaper cost. Not sure about the environmental damage in regards to is it better or worse than straw base again, I'll leave that to the clever people to work out. Um, it's a different way of doing pigs.


But I think we're not getting the images out there to attract the young people in, to make them realise there is a whole industry. You know I said I went to Moreton Morrell College and that was back three months ago. I talked to probably 30 students. Every one of them was unaware of the fact there was a pig industry, totally unaware of it. They didn't know that there was actually a pig industry. So crazy, yeah, absolutely crazy. But it's our own fault because we keep it quiet.


We actually, you know, as much as I love the pig and poultry event, it's for the pig and poultry guys. It doesn't actually attract anyone new into it. Shouldn't it be one big livestock event? And shouldn't pig and poultry be next to the beef and sheep guys?


And, and you know, the beef and sheep guys can have a wander in, have a look at what we're doing, and vice versa, and you might get some youngsters that are, oh, this looks all right, I'll join this industry or I'll move into that sector for a while, but they ain't going to drive to Birmingham to see a sector that they know nothing about. So I think we are a little too insular, a little too worried about what less than one percent of the population are going to say if we put a picture up on social media and we shouldn't. We should be proud of what we do. There are some people that are really proud and do well in what they do, but we need more people actually showing that within the industry

Rebekah 34:36

Thanks Mark, and a question I always ask my guests is you know, what do you think are the biggest issues for agriculture going forward?


I think maybe, as I touched upon and it's, it's within, within all businesses the people who are the leaders in agriculture are maybe a little too far removed from the people who are coming into agriculture and they don't understand what the needs and wants and vision of those youngsters coming in.


They maybe don't talk to them and I'm not suggesting it's just farmers, I'm saying, you know, within all businesses, be that contract pig keeping, contract cattle keeping, whatever we generally make our packages suit the guys we're talking to, who are the farmers, the head of the farming into the head of the arable farm or whoever, who are usually in their 50s, sometimes even in their 70s, and as a result of which the youngsters voice doesn't get across. I know we've got the young NPA and things like that and I'm sure that there's a young cattle association and stuff. But we need to listen to these people who are the next generation coming on, help them, give them a leg up, understand what their needs are within the industry and some of it, without a doubt, we won't like, without a doubt, the fact that they maybe want to go off to the pub on a Friday night. Well, we, just because we didn't doesn't mean we can't facilitate it for them.

Rebekah 36:04

Yeah, thanks Mark. That was a great discussion. I mean you definitely highlighted there that the pig sector is a potential career choice.


And it's not just pig farming. There's so much more as well beyond it. So, it was really good to have your input today and thank you everybody for watching and listening. And again, thank you, Mark, keep following us. We've got some great new discussions coming up. We'll be speaking with Red Tractor in the next few weeks. If you have got an interesting topic in agriculture that you would like to talk about, please get in contact with me via Agricultural Recruitment Specialists, which is www.agriRS.com and if you'd like to hear more on any new issues and topics within the agricultural and farming industry, you can follow us on various channels, including Spotify, YouTube, Apple Podcasts. Just look up AgriCulture Live. So that's all from me. Mark, would you like to say goodbye?

Mark 37:07

And thank you for listening to this old duffer. Goodbye.

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