Lord Henley, Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State at the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) is to give the keynote speech at the inaugural Northern Farming Conference at Newcastle Racecourse on October 15.
Speakers from across the farming industry, universities, representative bodies and the Government will address the conference, with a closing speech being given by Anne McIntosh, MP for Thirsk and Malton, and chair of the Defra select committee.
The organising committee, which includes the Country Land and Business Association (CLA) and the Farm and Wildlife Advisory Group (FWAG), hope the conference will equip those involved in agriculture and land management with the information needed to better plan their business future at a time of market volatility, environmental constraints and the prospect of industry reform.
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Harry Chrisp, a farmer from near Alnwick and Chairman of FWAG in Northumberland, is chairing the committee. He says: ‘As a farmer, I wanted to go to a conference for farmers about farming. My philosophy behind the Northern Farming Conference is very simple – it is a conference for ‘muddy-boot’ farmers who will be able to go home at the end of the day satisfied that they have learned something of direct benefit to their business.’
Alistair Cochrane, Partner at event sponsor Strutt and Parker and North East Regional Chairman of the CLA, says: ‘Farming faces a time of extraordinary change and uncertainty.
‘The prospect of CAP reform post 2013, volatility in agricultural commodity markets, climate change, environmental constraints, regulatory legislation and the spectre of swingeing public sector cuts all conspire to make it hard for farmers and land mangers to plan with confidence.’
Entitled A Bright Green Future?, the conference will include morning and afternoon sessions on the profitability of farming and conservation, technical advances, Government support and land management considerations.
The conference is sponsored by Strutt & Parker, the CLA, the Environment Agency, FWAG, Dickinson Dees Solicitors and the England Catchment Sensitive Farming Delivery Initiative. Organisers are hoping that it will become a regular fixture.
For more information visit www.northernfarmingconference.org.uk or call Harry Chrisp on 0191 279 9118.