Nutritionist spotlight: Sam Wootton

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Sam Wootton is one of many nutritionists playing a crucial role in our drive to provide customers with optimal animal feed options as part of a sustainable, quality food chain. 

With a degree in Animal Science from the University of Nottingham and a wealth of experience under his belt, Sam has most recently been at the forefront of co-ordinating one of the UK’s largest pig nutrition trials for Premier Nutrition, our specialist premix and expert nutrition business.

“I joined Premier Nutrition in 2018 as an Assistant Support Nutritionist, where I was working across all our species teams,” Sam says. “In September 2021, I officially moved over to work as a pig nutritionist and a large part of my role is now focused on looking after the trials at our two sites in East Anglia, where there are just under 3,000 pigs collectively.”

Working in two new finisher buildings in partnership with one of the UK’s largest producers and processers of pigs, Sam joins Pig Product Director, Mick Hazzledine; Pig Nutritionist, Lorraine Salmon and Consultant Jim Burling gathering performance, environmental and health information. 

The first trial assessed the effect of different amino acid levels in feed, with the aim of minimising production costs as well as giving valuable information on soya usage, Global Warming Potential and nitrogen excretion. The results help Premier Nutrition provide customers with advice on optimising pig nutrition and performance while minimising the environmental impact of feed. 

Commenting on the importance of the work, Sam says: “Different feeds hold different carbon footprints, so these trials are essential for helping our customers work towards net zero. 

“We consistently trial the raw materials that go into the feed, such as replacing a significant percentage of soya with sunflower, which has a much lower carbon footprint. We can then see how the pigs’ performance changes. If it’s successful and farmers want to go ahead with the new feed, it can be rolled out across their farms, which makes a huge difference to them and the industry overall.”

A second trial, looking at barley versus wheat, plus energy concentration, began in autumn 2021, and is allowing Sam and the Premier Nutrition team to help farmers make more informed choices on how to feed their pigs.

Want to know more about our nutritionists? Read Clare’s story