Building work is currently underway for a brand-new state-of-the-art pig unit, opening at Bishop Burton College this November. The Centre for Indoor Pig Production will function as a ‘bed and breakfast’ farrowing facility, producing pigs for processing at White Rose Farms Ltd, part of Cranswick PLC.
This commercial facility will give Agriculture and Animal Management students opportunities to develop their knowledge of managing livestock, as well as delivering insight into how a commercial venture is run. The valuable business links formed through this Centre will inform the design of the college’s curriculum, ensuring students finish college ready for employment.
The £1 million unit will house a total of 72 pens. The unit boasts the highest standards of welfare for the animals, with 6.5m2 of living space allocated per pig and ample room for the rearing of piglets.
James Richardson, Farm Director, said: “We’re so excited to be welcoming pigs back on to campus. They will make a great addition to our range of livestock, and a fantastic learning resource for our students from a range of courses.”
The unit will also include comfortable facilities for staff working on the unit, including a canteen, office, and plant room, as well as excellent hygiene measures designed to minimise contamination risks.
The pig unit is expected to open in early November 2023, and welcome its first pigs ahead of farrowing in early December. An opening ceremony will be attended by a range of stakeholders and local employers.
Rick Buckle, Managing Director of White Rose Farms, said: “We are investing heavily to ensure the pig industry is fit for the future. We are pleased to be working with Bishop Burton College to support the pig unit on site and encourage students to consider the industry to develop their careers.”
Principal of Bishop Burton College, Bill Meredith, said: “We’re tremendously excited to see the opening of the pig unit this autumn. It represents an unparalleled opportunity for our further education students to learn first hand about pig rearing and develop the vital skills required in today’s farming industry.”
The unit will be constructed by renowned pig industry construction company, AM Warkup. Managing Director, Andy Hall, said: “We’re delighted to be working in conjunction with Bishop Burton College and White Rose Farms to produce a facility for training the pig farmers of the future.”
The project will be in addition to the £1.4 million investment in the Institute of Technology and Centre for Precision Agriculture. These new facilities offer students the opportunity to develop crucial higher-level skills. Through gaining this in-depth knowledge of precision agriculture, students are equipped to succeed as the next generation of farmers.