Canterbury pig farmer Chris Trengrove has been honoured by the pork industry with a lifetime achievement award.
The award recognises Trengrove’s innovation and commitment as an industry leader for his contribution to the New Zealand pork sector.
Trengrove, who farms near Christchurch, began his career in banking before switching to farming in the late 1980s.
He served on the board of NZ Pork for 15 years, nine of those as chair, and was instrumental in the development and introduction of the sector’s PigCare welfare assurance programme and a major review of import health standards.
Known for his innovative approach to pig farming, Trengrove designed a novel purpose-built farrowing system to reduce piglet losses.
He also pioneered artificial insemination for outdoor pig herds in NZ.
NZ Pork chief executive Brent Kleiss said Trengrove has made an immense contribution to the sector.
“Chris has invested time and energy serving our sector and NZ agriculture over many years and established international links with pork industries, researchers and organisations.
“He also has a deep commitment to research and pork industry training,” Kleiss said.
Also in the industry’s limelight are Tayla Steele, who works for Patoa Farms in North Canterbury, and Regan Driever of the Stanley Brothers pig farm near Ōpunake in Taranaki.
The pair were joint winners of the 2023 Stockperson of the Year award.
Steele spent several years working on thoroughbred racehorse studs before joining Patoa Farms 14 months ago. She has gone on to gain an NZQA Level 3 in pig husbandry.
“I was looking for a change and wanted to move to North Canterbury because it’s a lovely location to live,” Steele said.
“I’d never had anything to do with pigs but knew a few people in the industry and they enjoyed it.
“I really like working with pigs. They are inquisitive, smart and playful.”
Steele said it has been a good way to step into farming.
“If you have no farming background, I’d say give pig farming a go. You don’t need any experience; you’ll get help to learn everything as you go along.
“I see myself in the sector long-term,” she said.
Driever joined Stanley Brothers two years ago straight from school, having enjoyed a stint of work experience at the farm.
He has gained his NZQA Level 3 in pig husbandry and plans to study for his Level 4 next year.
“I’m always learning something new.
“There’s so much involved, nutrition, pig welfare, biosecurity and I really enjoy working with the pigs.
“I see it as a long-term career and I’d encourage any young people interested in the sector to apply for work experience and see what they think,” Driever said.