National Farm Management Conference set to debate “What is a Farm For?” 

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The annual National Farm Management Conference run by The Institute of Agricultural Management (IAgrM) will return this year to the QEII Centre in London on 7 November 2023.

The conference title this year is ‘What is the farm for? Technology v Tradition: The Future of Agricultural & Environmental Management’ and will explore how the twin strategies of regenerative agriculture and the use of modern agri-tech can work together.

“Are we going to have farms that produce lots of food, or farms that respond to the public goods for public services? What is a farm for? Is it there to produce food or public services?” questions Victoria Bywater, national director of IAgrM.

It is hoped the conference will help answer these key questions and look at how food production and environmental protection can work to solve two of the most critical issues facing humanity: climate change and biodiversity loss.

Stellar line-up

The packed one-day event comprises of a stellar line-up of speakers from across the industry and includes:

  • Opening the conference, Professor Sir Charles Godfray, from Oxford University, will talk about how agriculture is both a problem and solution for climate change
  • Sam Hall, director of the Conservative Environment Network, will then discuss how farmers can stop and reverse biodiversity loss caused by intensive agriculture
  • Will Jennings, the CEO of Rabobank in the UK will give a macroeconomic overview of the situation in farming and supply chain industries
  • Representatives from the food supply chain have also been invited to discuss how regenerative food production might affect procurement policies, with Joseph Keating, Co-op agriculture manager, leading this session.

Also on the agenda are regenerative farmers, including Paul Carrott, Will Oliver and Paul Cherry, as well as agronomists, such as Ed Brown, head of agroecology at Hutchinsons, will bring a boots-on-the-ground perspective to discuss how they have made the transformation and are making it work at a scale.

And bringing a transatlantic view of technology from the USA, will be managing director of Kincannon and Reed, Aidan Connolly.

Finally, the conference will explore the role technology plays in agriculture and the opportunities and challenges it presents as well as what barriers preventing farmers the adoption of new technology. For example, Sarah Bell, from the British Farm Data Council, will also be discussing ownership of data.

Carl Atkin-House, chairman of IAgrM says: “We have a fantastic line-up of speakers throughout the day. For farmers and ancillary industries involved in agriculture and food, this conference is not to be missed. It will address one of the burning questions on everyone’s lips and look at how agriculture can maintain food production while delivering environmental policies set out by the government.”

For a full list of speakers please visit

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