Inaugural Autumn Farming Conference generates an enthusiastic response

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The Larking Gowen Autumn Farming Conference, a new event for all in the agricultural sector, ranging from farmers, growers, and landowners to those in the supply industries and end customers, generated an extremely positive response from the delegates at Trinity Park, Ipswich on 4 October.

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 East (CLA), the membership organisation for owners of land, property and businesses in rural England and Wales, it included a wide range of thought-provoking presentations from a group of speakers whose talents and experience span a range of complementary fields. A novel feature of the event was the ‘live pole’ of delegates to assess their views on of the future of farming in the UK, with 50% being ‘optimistic’ and 40% going for the ‘it’s complicated’ option, while 10% were ‘not confident’.

Delighted response

Bruce Masson, the Larking Gowen partner who originated the Autumn Farming Conference, was delighted with the response, stating: “Given that the farming industry faces numerous challenges and uncertainties, from major cost and supply issues due to the geopolitical turmoil, the effects of Brexit, phasing out of the Basic Payment Scheme and labour shortages, to name but a few, it was pleasing that most delegates were positive about the future, albeit with some reservations.”

Chaired by CLA east director Cath Crowther, the event included presentations from Steven Rudd, Larking Gowen’s head of Farms and Landed Estates, Daniel Zeichner, Member of Parliament for Cambridge and Shadow Minister for Food, Farming and Fisheries, Alec Smith, Director of highly respected agricultural and advisory business Sentry Ltd and Jason Cantrill, a Partner at farming consultancy Ceres Rural. Emma Hayley was there to represent YANA (You Are Not Alone), the farming charity providing mental health support for the farming and rural community, which received a £1500 donation from the event.

The Autumn Farming Conference also included two fascinating, yet very different presentations from Norfolk farmers Stuart Mayhew and Izzi Rainey.

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