Professor is congratulated for his contribution to NI pig sector

A leading figure has retired from the Pig Research Consortium between AFBI, Devenish Nutrition, John Thompson and Sons and PCM.

Professor Fred Gordon was a member of the consortium since its formation over 25 years ago.

He has been a leading figure in animal science research in Northern Ireland throughout his career.

In 1996, the professor was instrumental in bringing together key players in the industry to form a Pig Research Consortium.

Pictured are current and past members of the Pig Research Consortium (from L-R): Prof. E. Magowan (AFBI), G. Donaldson. (John Thompson and Sons), R. Bradford (PCM), V. Wylie (Violet Wylie Consultancy), Dr. R. Muns (AFBI), S. Smyth (John Thompson and Sons), Dr. George McIlroy (former AFBI), (front row) Dr. E. Ball (AFBI), Prof. F. Gordon, Dr. K. McKracken (former AFBI) and Dr. C. Mulvenna (AFBI).

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The consortium aimed to bring together industry expertise and research capacity to address current and future challenges of the Northern Ireland pig sector.

The work of the Pig Research Consortium has been supported over the years with funding from the Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs, Devenish Nutrition and John Thompson and Sons.

After more than 25 years as a leading member and chair, Professor Gordon retired from the consortium in April.

To mark the occasion, and celebrate his leading role in the Pig Research Consortium and wider contribution to the Northern Ireland pig sector, Professor Gordon was presented with a commemorative certificate in the presence of current and past members of the consortium.

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Dr Ramon Muns (Head of the AFBI Monogastric Research Group) presenting a commemorative certificate to Professor Fred Gordon.

Over the years, the work conducted by the Pig Research Consortium has driven down phosphorus levels in diets, reducing phosphorus content of pig slurry; has investigated the cost-benefit of non-soya protein sources, currently of key interest to reach a net zero carbon economy; and has driven down nitrogen excretion of fattening pigs through crude protein and amino acid manipulation.

A seminar on ‘Nutritional Solutions to Environmental Challenges’ was organised by the Consortium in October 2020.

You can watch a recording of the seminar at www.afbini.gov.uk/articles/afbi-pig-eventsCurrently, the consortium is focusing on the optimization of sow gestation diets composition and feeding management to reduce overall crude protein/nitrogen intake while maintaining a high reproductive performance.

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Professor Gordon highlighted the unique role that the Pig Research Consortium performs in driving research to deliver for the local industry and wished the consortium well as they continue in that role.