David Speller

David Speller

Derbyshire

Science helps me understand the animals we look after.

David is a poultry farmer in the UK. He relies on science to make sure his animals are healthy and happy.

What do you do in your job?

I own and run a poultry farming business farming over 1.5 million birds in the UK every day. In addition I monitor and advise clients around the world on how to improve their farms and I work with many others such as universities and research bodies to help to develop new innovative technology solutions to our problems.

How do you use science in your job?

A key part of my job is to analyse data and try to make data into information that we can make real decisions on farm with. Science is used to help me understand the data and better understand the animals we are farming and looking after. In modern farming animal welfare is very important but to truly give an animal what it wants you first must truly understand its needs, not what we think it wants but what it actually wants and for this we need science.

If you had to summarise the impact your job has on everyday life – what would you say in two sentences?

All of us that eat meat want to know that the animal we are eating had a comfortable and healthy life prior to be consumed, every minute of every day I am ensuring this is the case on farms I am involved. I believe that in the future we will even better understand the needs of farmed animals and this will be communicated to all consumers through a much more open dialogue and understanding of what happens on farms.

What’s the best thing about your job?

I love challenging the current thinking and I love having the freedom to explore lots of new ideas.

What did you study at school?

At school I mainly studied sciences and mathematics.

What inspired you into your career?

I have always been interested in agriculture but working with poultry came about after a chance advert in a local paper advertised an old farm for sale as the farmer was retiring.

What five top tips would you have for people wanting a job like yours?

  • Go with your heart
  • Work hard and stick with it
  • Don’t always believe others
  • Get ready for a 24/7 challenge
  • Look to work with other good people

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