The History of the BPA:
The First Progeny Testing Station
The sale of those first Landrace pigs was highly profitable for the
NPBA. But the Ministry had imposed a condition that the money should
be used for the benefit of the whole pig industry. In response to
this the association took another step that had a profound effect on
the "improvement of the breed of swine".
The NPBA Producer Testing and Research Co. Ltd. was given the profit
from the Landrace sales to begin the first progeny testing station.
A prime mover in the creation of a progeny scheme was the
association's secretary Robert Johnson who had spent some time in
Denmark and seen the advantages that the controlled assessment of
pigs could bring to the industry. The NPBA had wanted to introduce
such a scheme for improvement in this country; and the Landrace
windfall provided the finance.
The aim of the association was to relate the test results back to
the pedigree standards of excellence and so into the commercial
herds. The Selby test station, established in 1952, was to form the
basis of a National Progeny Testing Scheme. A National scheme was
finally established by the Government three years later, funded by a
levy of “1d a score” on all pigs certified at liveweight and
deadweight centres. The total cost, in 1955, of this national scheme
inspired by the original NPBA test centre was in excess of half a
The NPBA's Selby Testing
House with individual feed hoppers
Carcase measurements at
The need for independent management of the National Testing Scheme
led to the formation of the Pig Industry Development Authority on
which the association had extensive re-presentation. And, in turn,
PIDA became the nucleus of the wider ranging Meat and Livestock
Commission launched in 1968.