Heidi Hall - The power of Microbiome to produce Happy, Healthy Pigs
From graduating with a BSc Hons Zoology degree from the University of Leeds in 2011 I joined the commercial nutrition graduate scheme with AB Agri which gave me a broad understanding of applied animal nutrition and feed manufacture. From there I took the role of General Nutritionist with AB Connect (part of AB Agri) and later the role of Project manager for the Alternative Proteins division of AB Agri. In each of these roles I increased my understanding of animal nutrition and health and the interaction between them. My latter role ignited a wish to produce sustainable meat from healthy animals using less resources as we looked at novel protein sources for the future. This led to my current role (Technical Manager-Swine) for Anpario, a UK based company specialising in improving animal gut health and animal performance. I work with producers in the UK and globally to disseminate our research, run trials and help improve the performance of their herds.
I would like to thank the John Oldace foundation for providing me with the opportunity to follow my passion and investigate what I feel is a fundamental project for the future of British pig farming.
I would also like to thank my friends, family and especially my husband, Mike for their continued support and my employer Anpario for enabling me to pursue a Nuffield Scholarship.
The production of healthy and happy animals is why I entered the field of animal nutrition and I am keen to explore the interaction between nutrition and animal health, gut and general, to fully understand how we can better raise animals for the future with fewer antimicrobials. The gut or gastro intestinal tract (GIT) contains billions, if not trillions of bacteria, fungi and protozoa and is the site of 70% of the body’s immune cells. Managing this population, which is collectively described as the Microbiome is essential in optimising gut health, immune function and animal productivity. I hope that in this study I am able to discover novel initiatives and use of precision farming to encompass management techniques, feed and natural feed additive solutions and how the interaction between veterinary, nutritional and on-farm consultants can be best used to benefit UK farmers and their livestock.