Thursday, November 15, 2018

Conference helps ensure farm businesses are ‘fit for the future’

September 3, 2018 by  
Filed under News & Business

A solid line up of speakers has been unveiled by the East of England Agricultural Society for its fourth annual farming conference this autumn.

Now firmly on the list of “must attend” winter events for the agricultural industry, this year’s conference theme is Fit for the Future. It will take place on 1 November at the East of England Showground, Peterborough.

Launched in 2015, the East of England Farming Conference offers progressive farmers, business men and women, students and guests an opportunity to attend an event which inspires, engages and motivates, plus an enjoyable and social day.

This year,  Anglia Farmer magazine and its sister publication Midland Farmer are working alongside the East of England Agricultural Society as the conference’s official media partners to support and promote the event both online and in print.

Heading up the day’s speakers are a number of political heavy weights and industry leaders. They include shadow Defra secretary Sue Hayman; Conservative MP and House of Commons Efra select committee chairman Neil Parish; and NFU vice president Stuart Roberts.

Mr Roberts said: “This year’s East of England Farming Conference comes at such an interesting time for the industry. I am looking forward to looking beyond Brexit and start to assess some of the longer term trends that will influence our industry over the next decade.”

The opening session will also feature a presentation by farmer Patrick Holden, founder of the Sustainable Food Trust. The founding chairman of British Organic Farmers in 1982, before he joined the Soil Association, Mr Holden received a CBE for services to organic farming in 2005.

Ground-breakers

Focusing on innovative thinkers, the second session will include presentations by AHDB strategic farmer Brian Barker; Hertfordshire farmer and Groundswell director John Cherry; and PlantWorks consultant bioagronomist Jamie Stotzka.

Delegates will also be addressed by William Wells, founder and chief executive of Hummingbird Technologies – an artificial intelligence business using drone and satellite technology to help farmers and agronomists make informed management decisions.

The third and final session “risk takers” will include presentations by pioneering farmers including Stephen Jones, founder and director of the British Quinoa Company; Emily and Guy French, of Foxes Farm Produce; and organic dairy farmer Wil Armitage.

Conference sponsors include AS Communications, Roythornes, British Sugar, Brown & Co, CXCS, Soil Fertility Services, Land Family Business, Daltons Seeds, Easton & Otley College, NFU, Produce World, Syngenta, Active Business Partnerships and Premium Crops.

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