20 July 2010
The Corrections Inmate Employment (CIE) run piggery at Christchurch Men’s Prison has added another string to its bow with herd instructor Graham Murphy scooping the Pork Industry Board’s Herd Manager of the Year award.
Graham was presented with the award on Monday night by Chris Trengrove, Chairman of the New Zealand Pork Industry Board, and Murray Linton, Corporate Sales Manager of Agriculture Industry Training Organisation.
“Graham started training as a herd manager two years ago under the joint training scheme offered by the Pork Industry Board and the Agriculture Industry Training Organisation,” says CIE Principal Instructor Warren Chilton.
“He’s gone from strength to strength with his herd management as a result of this training, and he’s an asset to the team.”
“The piggery team won the Corrections Inmate Employment Innovation Awards the week before, for their ability to run a highly successful training programme along side an industry leading free farm piggery.”
“We’ve seen some great results recently – Graham’s win, the Innovation Award win and we’ve also had a lot of interest from industry in our practice,” says Warren.
“Sixty pork production industry members from New Zealand and around the world visited us in May to see our best practice model for outdoor pork production. We’re one of only eight RNZSPCA accredited piggeries in New Zealand, and we supply to the ‘Freedom farms’ brand which earns us a higher premium because it is naturally farmed,” says Warren.
Prisoners working in the piggery work towards NZQA accredited qualifications, and gain experience in feeding, stock movements, animal health and daily maintenance.
“Our instructors work in a pretty challenging environment. The piggery is operated inside the prison boundary, prisoners conduct the day-to-day tasks as part of their training, and we breed our own pigs with the sows having in excess of 20 piglets each a year.”
“The team are all passionate about what they do, and about making a difference. If we can give the prisoners passing through the piggery the skills and experience to find sustainable work on their release, we can reduce their risk of reoffending – which ultimately makes our communities safer,” says Warren.
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