Aidan Leek  -  Insect Protein and the Layer Industry. Potential Input or Product

I live on a smallholding in Herefordshire with my wife and daughter. Since 2012, I have been employed as Technical Manager with Hy-Line International supporting UK and European layer distributors and their global layer parent stock client base with management and nutritional advice. I also have sales responsibility in the Scandinavian markets. I grew up in County Wicklow, Ireland. My father was in the veterinary profession and this helped to instil an interest in livestock from an early age.

Growing up, I also helped out with my family’s productive flocks of dairy goats, sheep and poultry. I went on to study Agricultural Science, specialising in Animal Science, at The University of Nottingham, Sutton Bonnington and obtained my BSc(Hons) in 1998. Much of my free time from university was gainfully spent working long days (and nights) for a harvest contractor - on grain in the summer and beet in the winter. Spring time involved lambing my Suffolk flock and a variety of farm-relief work on other livestock units in the area. With growing output and demand, specialisation in pig production appeared a good career route and I completed my Masters in Agriculture at UCD in pig nutrition in 1999. I went on to undertake a PhD in pig nutrition after taking a year out from my studies to work as a Technical Manager for Provimi Ireland. However, as a result of the down turn in the pig industry, I changed focus to the poultry industry, and in 2004, I accepted the role of Feedmill Technical Manager/Nutritionist with Sun Valley/Cargill Meats Europe. In 2008, I joined Premier Nutrition, the premix and nutritional advisory division of AbAgri/Associated British Foods. In the role of Monogastric Nutritionist, I worked with both pig and poultry clients, with responsibility for sales development and technical support of key accounts in the UK, Ireland, eastern Europe and Asia. 

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