New farming conference will help an industry facing major change

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The Autumn Farming Conference, a brand-new event for farmers, growers, landowners, and those involved in the agricultural sector will take place on Tuesday 4 October 2022 at Trinity Park, Ipswich.

It is being organised by Larking Gowen, a major regional independent accountancy partnership and one of the UK’s top 40 accountancy firms, in conjunction with the Country Land and Business Association (CLA), the membership organisation for owners of land, property and businesses in rural England and Wales.

“The farming industry is at a massive crossroads right now, largely because of major changes in the sector post Brexit, together with the loss of the Basic Payment Scheme and the effects of climate change,” states Bruce Masson, the Larking Gowen Partner who originated the concept.

“The impact of these and other factors has been amplified by the terrible situation in Ukraine, which no-one could have predicted and will have a significant global impact for the foreseeable future.

“Farmers and rural enterprises have been severely impacted, so are looking for guidance and ideas. To help them plot a way forward we have brought together a compelling group of speakers whose talents and experience span a range of complementary fields.”

Wide range of topics

Chaired by CLA East Director Cath Crowther, the event will include presentations by experts from across the farming sector on a range of topics, providing practical advice and an opportunity to meet others in the sector.

The conference will include the following presentations:

  • Steven Rudd, Larking Gowen’s Head of Farms and Landed Estates, which is the largest of its type in East Anglia and one of the largest in the country. Delegates will also learn more about the government’s viewpoint from Jo Churchill, Member of Parliament for Bury St Edmunds since 2015 and current Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State at Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra).
  • Stuart and Rebecca Mayhew, founder members of Regenerative Agriculture Community East (RACE). Formed in April 2022, it aims to connect the region’s farmers, retailers, and consumers, shortening supply chains, supporting sustainable farming, and helping improve food security. They will explain what regenerative agriculture is, engage in some myth busting about the concept and give examples of how it works in practice, as well as presenting a case study of their Old Hall Farm, Woodton near Bungay.
  • An analysis of farming data and a review of last season by Alec Smith, Director of highly respected agricultural and advisory business Sentry Ltd. Based in Suffolk, the employee-owned firm has a footprint across 15 counties and 50 years of trading experience.
  • A look at the future of farming by Jason Cantrill, a Partner at Ceres Rural. Based at the firm’s Norwich office, Jason is a qualified Chartered Surveyor, RICS Registered Valuer and agricultural valuer. Covering Suffolk and Norfolk, he specialises in the management of farms, together with the formation of contract farming and joint venture agreements.
  • Emma Hayley from YANA (You Are Not Alone), the farming charity which provides mental health support for the farming and rural community. All profits from the conference will go to this much-admired organisation.
  • Izzi Rainey, who grew up on her family’s farm in Norfolk, will give first-hand experience of farm diversification without stewardship, talk about the success of women in agriculture and give her perspective of the role of the next generation in the industry. After graduating from the Glasgow School of Art, she established IzzyRainey, a farm-based textile company which designs and manufactures high quality stationery and homeware products.

Further details of the Autumn Farming Conference are available at /AFC and tickets can be booked online. The event on 4 October 2022 will start at 08.30 with arrival and registration before the first session commences at 09.15. The conference will conclude at 15.30.

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