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What is it like being a judge for the 2021 National Pig Awards?

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ForFarmers is delighted to once again be supporting the National Pig Awards as a principal sponsor. The annual event celebrates the very best of the British Pig Industry and brings together those who make significant contributions.

Beth Austermuhle
Beth Austermuhle

Ahead of the awards taking place, we caught up with ForFarmers Head of Technical and Customer Excellence Beth Austermuhle who forms part of this year’s judging panel.

Q. Tell us a little about you becoming a judge at The National Pig Awards?

A. As principal sponsor of these prestigious awards ForFarmers is invited to sit on the judging panel every year. This year, that honour falls to me!

Q. What was it like working with the team of judges on the panel?

A. I have attended the awards many times so it’s great to be able to join ‘behind the scenes’ to see how the process works and what goes into the judging process.

It was great to work with the panel of judges. There’s a real mix of backgrounds/professions within the industry; vets, producers, nutritionists, and lobbyists. You get a good cross section of viewpoints for the judging process.

Q. How does the judging process work?

A. People submit entries/nominate for the awards in the different categories. These entries are then submitted to the judging panel. Each judge is assigned as a lead judge and second judge for a couple of the categories. The lead judge works with the second judge in reviewing the entries and nominating the top 3 for the category. Some awards are agreed by the whole panel of judges’ e.g. indoor and outdoor producer of the year. Once the top 3 are chosen they are either visited and or take part in a phone call with the lead judge for the final order of the top 3 to be decided.

Q. Tell us about the level of entrants from this year’s selection?

A. There was a good level of high quality entries this year with categories such as unit manager, trainee of the year, and youngstock person having a really good level of entries- it makes the job really hard!.

Q. What advice would you give to anyone who would like to enter for the 2022 awards?

A. All entries are welcome, taken seriously, and given equal merit. It’s a great showcase of the hard work and dedication of the industry and a great way to get the recognition that your team or business deserves.

To find out more about the categories and judging criteria, visit www.nationalpigawards.co.uk