Chloe Shorten

J C Innes & Son,

Sponsored by: Isuzu

Taking on a farm manager role at the age of just 21 and managing a 1,140-sow unit is testament to the commitment to the pig industry demonstrated by Chloe Shorten.

Coming from a non-farming background, Chloe had initially set out to become a vet, but she then discovered a passion for livestock, starting and staying in the pig industry since 2017.

Chloe is always looking for new ideas to improve the farm, as well as learning from others, and has actively sought new opportunities, such as getting into the smart pork lean programme with her employer, which has credited her with making the business a lot tighter in structure.

Under Chloe’s management, the figures in the farrowing house had greatly improved reducing pre-weaning mortality from 15.5 per cent to 10 per cent.

She has also had an emphasis on biosecurity to prevent disease and improve animal welfare, with a focus on ensuring piglets in the farrowing house are given the best start. This includes feeding them colostrum from sows and rialling different products to help with rotavirus challenges.

Proactively seeking best practice as inspiration to improve the business and with policy changing towards getting rid of crates, she researched the concept of freedom farrowing crates adopted in Europe.

She has also been in contact with people in Germany to discover more to get ahead of the game on upcoming industry changes.

Alongside her work on-farm, Chloe has a substantial following on social media platform TikTok and produces popular videos showcasing the farm and the industry in an effort to reverse negative perceptions and engage with potential new entrants.

Keen to grasp the opportunities available, Chloe has studied agriculture at Scotland’s Rural College and completed courses with AHDB, such as the stockman course and the effective young manager course. Securing a place on the Tesco Future Farmer Foundation enabled her to enlist the help of a mentor to help within the business over various aspects, including profitability.

What the judges said:

The judging panel were impressed by Chloe’s extremely self-motivated approach and her attention to detail and care for the pigs and her staff. Chloe is clearly very forward thinking, looking at international best practice and taking inspiration to get ahead of the game on welfare issues back on the farm.  

Her impressive following on TikTok was also helping to improve the public opinion on pig farming, especially among younger people.