The new wave of agricultural revolution and insect farming are set to be key discussion points at the next Lincolnshire Farming Conference, to be held on Tuesday 11 February 2020 at the Lincolnshire Showground.
Following a year that has seen a number of challenges for the Lincolnshire agricultural community, the theme of the upcoming conference will be ‘the future is now’. The event will see key experts running workshops and discussing how the industry can adapt to the modern world and its demands.
Simon Day, Chairman of the Lincolnshire Farming Conference Committee, said: “It’s more important than ever that we explore the ways in which we can collectively make improvements in our work – especially when it comes to maximising use of our natural environment whilst also maintaining and protecting it.
“Lincolnshire is one of the biggest agricultural counties, so it is fantastic that we are able to bring together these industry experts on our home soil to discuss how we can look forward to the brightest future possible for the industry.”
The conference is open from 11am to 5pm, with refreshments being available alongside networking opportunities. Two workshop sessions will be held in the morning, with industry experts holding talks throughout the afternoon.
Workshop one – ‘The future of a farming family – what steps to take next’ – will be hosted by Wilkin Chapman, Brown & Co and HSBC. Jointly, the companies will talk through the key points farming families should consider when looking to the future, using a fictional scenario to work through.
The second workshop will be hosted by the University of Lincoln and Anglian Water and will focus on all things health – from healthy soils and water to health crops.
After lunch, expert talks will be held, including the future of what consumer consumption could look like, which will be discussed by Adam Banks, director of the Woven Network and Nuffield scholar. With mounting pressures on farmers in the UK to provide more sustainable food sources for both consumers and animal feed, Adam will explore the opportunities for farming insects. He will also examine the challenges that come with marketing insects as food to a western audience and how negative attitudes towards entomophagy may be overcome to take farming down a new path.
The fourth agricultural revolution will also be up for discussion by Sam Watson-Jones, Co-Founder of Small Robot Company. He will examine how farming, arguably the last analogue industry, is set to go digital, what the future of ag-tech looks like and how farmers can get involved in shaping this next step.
The keynote speech – farming beyond Brexit – will be given by Stuart Roberts, a third generation arable and livestock farmer from Harpenden. Stuart has served as Hertfordshire NFU County Chairman since 2015 and has served on both the East Anglian livestock and combinable crops board. He has also previously worked for Defra and the Food Standards Agency; has held senior management roles within the meat supply chain; and served on the boards of Red Tractor and the Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board.
Simon Day continued: “Brexit is, of course, an ongoing political situation, and as such will be on the table for discussion again in 2020. The presentation surrounding Brexit from the NFU was very well received, so we’re looking forward to welcoming Stuart Roberts, NFU’s Vice President, to continue the conversation on what the farming world will look like beyond the UK’s departure from the EU.
“The objectives of the Lincolnshire Agricultural Society are the furtherance, welfare and progress of the industry and all professions and trade connected therewith. The world is currently changing at an increasing pace, bringing with it new and varied challenges, particularly for our industry.”
Sponsors of the Lincolnshire Farming Conference include CLAAS, University of Lincoln, Woldmarsh, Streets Chartered Accountants, Househam, Anglian Water, Wilkin Chapman LLP, OMEX, Jelf, Brown & Co and BionatureUK.
A reception hosted by the Impact Group, the Society’s networking group for under 35s, will also take place from 5pm, after the conference ends.
Tickets cost £15 for adults, £6 for students, with members of the Lincolnshire Agricultural Society free to attend once registered, including lunch. To book a place at the 2020 conference visit: https://lincolnshireshowground.co.uk/whats-on/event/lincolnshire-farming-conference.
For regular updates, follow the Lincolnshire Farming Conference on Twitter @LincsShowground or join the conversation at #LFC2020.