Clare Gaukroger has joined Cargill’s pig team as research coordinator for the UK. Based in North Yorkshire, she will be establishing trials and managing data collection, analysis and interpretation for a wide range of projects on the company’s two UK reference farms.
These pig units are equipped with trial facilities and are designed to reflect commercial UK farms. One site focuses on weaner pig performance and the other, a more recently introduced site, will look at challenges and solutions in commercial grower finisher systems.
After gaining a first-class honors degree in animal science from Newcastle University, Clare spent a year as a swine technical specialist for Anpario before returning to Newcastle University to undertake a PhD in gut microbiota development in piglets and its relationship on performance.
Winner of the President’s Prize at the British Society of Animal Science conference in 2016, she was a speaker on piglet gut health at EuroTier in Germany in the same year and was also awarded a travel grant to present at the International Symposium on digestive physiology of pigs in Australia in 2018.
“The pig industry is facing some real challenges, particularly with the impending ban on the therapeutic use of zinc oxide in diets and the drive to reduce antibiotic usage,” says Dr Gaukroger. “We also have to keep pace with genetic advances and strive to achieve the animal’s potential by optimizing nutritional programs and management techniques.”
The projects underway at the Cargill UK reference farms focus on the interaction of nutrition, management and environment.
“We will exchange results from our work with Cargill’s global research teams, but it is particularly important that our findings here in the UK are used in tailoring new product and service developments to meet the needs of the UK industry,” she added. “This will help our customers to improve productivity in a sustainable and cost-effective way.”