Defining the Future

John Innes Conference Centre, Norwich, Thursday 7th February 2019

The 2019 Conference

The Norfolk Farming Conference offers delegates the chance to hear from influential speakers within the agricultural industry, whilst question and answer sessions offer a platform to discuss some of the most important topics affecting agriculture. This year’s conference focuses around three main sessions:

The Future Political Landscape

New Market Opportunities

The Next Generation

Exhibitors

Calor | Comm-Tech | Frontier | Norfolk FWAG | Norfolk Young Farmers | Openfield | R.A.B.I | SLM Toyota | YANA

 

Speakers

Andrew Saunders

Andrew Saunders

Director Tulip Agriculture and Managing Director Dalehead Food
Bio

Andrew Saunders, Tulip Agriculture Director and Managing Director Dalehead Food. Andrew began his career in practical pig production after studying at Agriculture College. From this he joined the Associated British Foods and established BQP and then added abattoir/processing business before the business joined Dalehead foods/Flagship foods in 2000 before joining Tulip Ltd in 2003. Andrew has represented the business on BPEX, AHDB Pork and British Meat Processors Association (BMPA). Andrew is responsible for the Dalehead Foods Division within Tulip which supplies products to Waitrose as well as being responsible for BQP a pig production business which now represents 20% of all UK pig production. Andrew is Chair of BMPA and a group of 15 suppliers/processors covering all areas of Primary protein, reviewing the opportunities for supply chain cooperation.

George Crane

George Crane

NIAB
Bio

Originally from Norfolk, George Crane studied Biology at the University of Sheffield, taking an interest in climate change, food security, and plant-microbe interactions. George commenced his PhD in January 2018, under supervision from Dr Lydia Smith (NIAB) and Dr Uta Paszkowski (University of Cambridge) and is funded by the Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board (AHDB) and the AgriFood Charities Partnership (AFCP). The project considers how cover crops can influence diversity and abundance of arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF), how these populations associate with following cash crops, and their impact on yield.

The project will utilise field-scale experiments, including the New Farming Systems trials at the NIAB regional centre in Morley, Norfolk, as well as glasshouse experiments to address project aims. This research will inform growers of the potential benefits of cover crops and AMF in UK agriculture.

John Beddington

Sir John Beddington

Former GCSA (2008-2013)
Bio

John Beddington was from 2008 until 2013 the Government Chief Scientific Adviser (GCSA) reporting directly to the Prime Minister. As GCSA, he was responsible for increasing the scientific capacity across Whitehall by encouraging all major departments of state to recruit a Chief Scientific Adviser.

During his time as GCSA he set up the Scientific Advisory Group in Emergencies (SAGE) that reported to the COBRA committee. He highlighted key issues of food, water and energy security in the context of climate change and ran the Foresight Team that produced a major report on the Future of Food and Farming.
He was awarded a Knighthood in 2010 and in June 2014 received The Order of the Rising Sun from the Japanese Government.

He is Senior Fellow at the Oxford Martin School and Professor of Natural Resource Management at Oxford University. He is the Chair of Rothamsted Research, Chair of the Systemic Risk Centre Advisory Panel at the LSE, the Chair of Rolls-Royce Environmental Advisory Board and he has recently stepped down as Acting Chair of the Met Office Board, he remains as a Non-Executive Director.

Jonathan McInnes Skinner
Bio

Jonathan lives near Watton and comes from a farming background with both of his grandfather’s farming large acreages in Norfolk. The farming business in Central Norfolk is run as “Bures Farm Partners” with a combination of arable and grassland. The business produces free range turkey’s for Christmas as well as having Pedigree Bleu du Maine, Millenium Bleu Sheep and cheviot and texel cheviot ewes and pedigree south devon cattle and pedigree Hereford cattle.

Minette Batters

Minette Batters

NFU President
Bio

Minette runs a tenanted family farm in Wiltshire. The mixed farming business includes a 100 cow continental cross suckler herd, and a small herd of pedigree Herefords as well as sheep and arable. Diversification includes the conversion of a 17th Century tithe barn into a wedding and corporate events venue, and horse liveries. Minette co-founded the campaigning initiatives ‘Ladies in Beef’ and the ‘Great British Beef Week’. She has been an NFU member from grassroots through to County Chairman; she served as Wiltshire’s Council delegate and also as Regional Board Chairman for the South West. Minette has also been a member of NFU Governance Board and served as NFU deputy president for four years from 2014 to 2018. Minette is also a Trustee of Farm Africa.

Sam Steggles

Sam Steggles

Fielding Cottage
Bio

Deciding that school was not for me and managing half a term of a GNVQ I enrolled at Writtle College to study a National Diploma in Agriculture after 2 years of tremendous fun and a few sore heads I trundled up to Harper Adams where I had a further 3 years of embracing the Harper motto of “work hard, play hard”. Upon graduating with an Agri Food Marketing and Business Studies qualification I was fortunate enough to be offered a job selling poultry equipment within East Anglia.

Always the dreamer, I wanted to be doing something for myself, so 9 years ago dreaming turned into reality when I started farming with the purchase of 10 goats. Fielding Cottage now holds an enviable reputation for producing some of the best goats cheese in the world, winning super gold at the world cheese awards amongst others. Cheese is now available from Farm Shops, Delis, cheese retailers and wholesalers across the country and also in some of the major supermarkets, not forgetting our very own self service farm shop “The Goat Shed”. The roller coaster of highs and lows have been worth it when we look back and realise what has been achieved. Would I change anything? Absolutely not.

George Freeman

George Freeman

MP
Bio

George Freeman was first elected to Parliament for Mid Norfolk in May 2010 after a 15 year career in bioscience venture capital. He spent most of his career in and around the Cambridge cluster supporting high tech growth businesses. For the seven years prior to being elected, he was Founder and Chairman of the specialist translational medicine consultancy 4D Biomedical Ltd. Prior to that he was CEO of Cambridge start-up Amedis Pharmaceuticals, and before that the Director of Early Stage Ventures at Merlin Biosciences.

Before entering Government he was PPS to the Minister for Climate Change in DECC, Chair of the All Party Group for Agricultural Science and Technology and appointed Government Adviser on Life Sciences where he co-ordinated the UK’s Life Science and AgriTech Industrial Strategies.In July 2014, he was appointed as the first ever UK Minister for Life Sciences by David Cameron, at the Department of Health (DH) and the Department of Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS). In charge of the £15bn NHS drugs budget, digital health and data, genomics, industry engagement, NHS R&D and the Life Sciences and Agri-Tech Industrial Strategies.

In the new Prime Minister’s post Referendum reshuffle in July 2016 he was appointed Chair of the Prime Minister’s new Policy Board. In 2017 George founded The Big Tent Ideas Festival, which aims to renew the grassroots of mainstream politics.

George is currently Chair of the Conservative Policy Forum and founder of both the 2020 Group of Conservative MPs, and the Big Tent Ideas Festival. He also sits on the advisory board of the think tank Bright Blue.

He has written widely for the Times, Sunday Times, Observer, Daily Telegraph, New Statesman, Spectator and Conservative Home on the potential of Britain’s science and innovation economy to support a sustainable economic recovery and unlock huge trade and inward investment opportunities in fast emerging global markets.

Jane Townsend

Jane Townsend

Easton & Otley College
Bio

After graduating from Exeter University as a secondary school teacher Jane has worked with the education sector for over 20 years. Her Masters from Seale-Hayne and her subsequent work within the Higher Education sector within FE establishments led her to develop her skills as a senior leader within Land Based colleges. Jane’s focus over the last 10 years has been developing poorly performing colleges and leading them to improve. Jane is the Principal at Easton and Otley College where she is utilising her past experience in developing and delivering top quality teaching; improving grades; shaping the curriculum to better suit the needs of employers; driving value and winning and retaining the confidence of all our friends and allies across the region, so they can have faith in our ability to deliver progress at the pace and standard required.

Andrew Fearne

Andrew Fearne

University of East Anglia
Bio

Andrew Fearne is professor of value chain management at Norwich Business School, University of East Anglia. His research is focussed on the co-ordination of value chains, from field to fork. He is the founding editor of the International Journal of Supply Chain Management, author of over 100 articles, the 14th Adelaide Thinker in Residence and son of a Kentish pig farmer!

Corey Holmes

Corey Holmes

Farmer, USA
Bio

Corey is a farmer’s son from Bloomington, Illinois; south west of Chicago and started farming with his father when he was in high school, purchasing his first piece of land on his 18th birthday. Corey has experience with pigs, row crops (soya and maize) and has an extensive knowledge of farming practices which have allowed him to work closely with big companies such as DuPont, Monsanto and Farmlogs (a cloud based digital farm operational data capture and mapping platform) on various strategies and technology. The Holmes family farm over 16,000 acres under a mixture owned land, crop share and flex lease arrangements with both private landlords, commercial investors and Farm Land Partners, one of few listed REIT structures that own farmland in the US. Corey since 2012 has attended TEPAP (The Executive Program for Agricultural Producers) in Austin, Texas.

Corey’s main farming platform revolves around soya and maize grown under conventional till and strip till regimes targeting high yields at least total cost of production under both pivot, drip irrigation and dry land farming systems through to owned storage complexes and a fully hedged marketing strategy.
Corey Holmes also has had a joint venture with Doug Hirsch (a Chicago based banker) called Farmland Opportunity Partners LLC, Northbrook, Illinois. This vehicle combines land acquisition, land improvement and farm management capability and has had a successful track record of acquisition, investment and management of land over some 15,000 acres since 2007 through to disposal on the recent land price highs in the US of 2014-2015.

Tickets

Non AF members

+ VAT

AF members

+ VAT

Students*

+ VAT

*Incl. YFC members / AF Next Generation members / YIELD members

Sponsors

Birketts logoBrown and Co logoEaston & Otley college logoLovewell Blake logoNatwest logoNorfolk County Council logoOrigin Fertiliser logoRNAA logo

 

The organisers

AF logo smlAF is the largest agricultural buying group in the UK with a buying power in excess of £ 250 million. The organisation is growing rapidly and provides an extensive range of products and services to more than 3500 members. AF's busy trading desks are seen as an extension to the farm office employing specialist buyers to save time and money for members on key farm inputs and other business costs such as electricity, telecommunications and general supplies.

For more information please email events@theafgroup.co.uk or call 01603 881 881.

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