South East Future of Farming Conference 2024

18 April 2024

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For the second year, the Country Land and Business Association (CLA) and Virgin Money are partnering with Plumpton College to host the South-East Future of Farming Conference on Thursday 18th April 2024, from 3-7pm.

The keynote speakers and workshops will provide practical-based solutions for farmers and landowners, with a focus on driving productivity and profitability in a sustainable way.

With a dedicated agricultural team, Virgin Money has a long history of supporting the Agricultural sector across the South-East. Justin Ellis, Agricultural Business Manager, Virgin Money said:

Our agricultural industry is operating in one of the most challenging periods for generations. While farmers continue to produce food, there is unprecedented change in climate, policy and consumer attitudes in how we grow, process and market our produce. There has never been a time where we need to be closer to our consumers and have both the desire and skills to adapt our food production methods, while enhancing nature and the environment. The 2024 Future of Farming Conference will showcase inspiring stories of those already showing leadership to help the industry move forwards.”

The conference will be chaired by Emily Norton, Norfolk-based farmer and independent rural policy and strategy advisor. She will be joined by the following keynote speakers:

Lord Deben, Former Chair of UK Independent Committee on Climate Change

  • How can farmers adapt to current climatic challenges.

Joe Stanley, Head of Sustainable Farming at the Allerton Project

  • How British farmers can be global leaders through an increased focus on regenerative techniques and the adoption of greater technology.

Eleanor Gilbert, Farmer and BBC Countryfile Young Countryside Champion 2022

  • The challenges and opportunities for young people in farming and the future of farming and the role of social media.

Flavian Obiero, Farmer, Chef and Apprentice Butcher

  • Discussing his inspirational journey through agriculture and his current life as a young tenant farmer.

This will be followed by a panel Q+A, chaired by Emily Norton, and breakout workshops. 

To conclude the conference there will be the opportunity for delegates to network and enjoy produce from the Plumpton Estate.

CLA South-East represents thousands of farmers, landowners, and rural businesses across the region. Regional Director Tim Bamford said:

“The CLA is delighted to be supporting this conference once again, after the success of the inaugural event last year. With a general election on the horizon, this is a crucial time for farming and the rural economy. We look forward to hearing from a diverse range of experts and case studies focusing on sustainability and productivity, and demonstrating how British farmers are global leaders.”

Tickets for this event are £10 with all the proceeds going to the Royal Agricultural Benevolent Institution (RABI), who exist to provide guidance, practical care, and financial support to those in need within the farming community. The closing deadline for booking tickets is 6pm on Thursday 11th April 2024.

Book your tickers here

Jeremy Kerswell, Principal Plumpton College adds:

“Plumpton has a pivotal role to play in the future of our land-based industries and not only through our training of new entrants, but in our work with existing farmers and landowners. We are delighted to be able to build upon last year’s hugely successful conference in our new Agrifood Centre to enable people to come together, share, learn and take away practical solutions for their own businesses.”

The Agrifood Centre at Plumpton College

The College has long been part of the South Downs landscape and local community. Originally established in 1926, the college began by offering agricultural courses. Today, it is the leader for land and environment education in the region and has grown to offer 19 different courses ranging from 14+, college-aged courses, apprenticeships, degree courses and adult education.

The college continues to invest in its estate and further to opening its Horticulture Centre of Excellence at One Garden Brighton, and the launch last year of its AgriFood Centre, it is about to embark on the final stage of its £20m investment, which is an Institute of Technology for Animal and Veterinary Science

Categories: Events, Agriculture