A new ‘EU PiG Ambassador’ has been chosen in Shane McAuliffe, from Castleisland. It was the pig farmer’s work in community management, that he was selected as the winner of the 2019 EU PiG Grand Prix.
The aim of the Grand Prix is to identify and share ground-breaking practices in pig production throughout the European network of pig producers.
Health management, animal welfare, meat quality and precision production are four key focus areas for pig producers and eight challenges are set for the annual competition. The idea is that the network will collate and share ideas and best practice to help respond to those challenges.
Shane addressed the ‘Opening farms to the public’ contest, that detailed his commitment to educating the public about pig production. The application had been submitted by the Irish partner, Teagasc.
The Grand Prix winner invites local students and international groups to the McAuliffe Pig farms to gain valuable insight into sustainable pig meat production in Ireland and the pig farms have featured on numerous television programmes.
Access to the pigs is not always possible, due to keeping good health practices; however, guests can watch the pigs from a viewing room through live CCTV.
Shane acts as a guest lecturer at numerous third level institutions around Ireland and gives interactive tours of the farm through the use of video.
McAuliffe farms are also known for taking veterinary medicine and agricultural students for practical training work placement and Shane has found a way to educate his 10,000 followers through social media.
Ciaran Carroll - Head of Knowledge Transfer at the Teagasc Pig Development Department - said, “Congrats to Shane on becoming an EU PIG Ambassador. This is our second ambassador in three years of the project and it’s great to see Irish farms at the forefront of this broad network,”.
The EU PiG project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme.