FaceTime a Farmer Founder Lands Top Job at EoEFC

By | News

A new chairman has been appointed for the East of England Farming Conference. Local farmer and founder of FaceTime a Farmer, Tom Martin, was confirmed in post by outgoing chairman, Richard Whitlock, saying “Our conference is now on the “must attend” list of winter events for all those interested in connecting with the future of our industry. I have now handed on the baton to Tom Martin, and along with a young, enthusiastic and extremely capable team of session chairs and East of England staff, they are producing a valuable programme for this coming November’s conference. I will certainly be attending and wish the new team well for the future.”

Martin, 38, enthused “I am extremely proud to be appointed chairman and thank former chairman Richard Whitlock not only for his service in steering EoEFC to become a key annual event for progressive leaders in the industry, but also for his wisdom and friendship.”

This year’s conference, entitled “Fit for the Future” is crafted to challenge industry business leaders to understand, embrace, and adapt to change in the coming years.

Pic cap Tom Martin

Taking place on Thursday 1st November, at the East of England Arena and Events Centre, the conference will host a packed day of key sessions with inspiring, motivational, and informative speakers from the fields of politics, science, and industry with a focus on in-field productivity, and business profitability gains; “There is something for everyone,” says William Haire East of England Agricultural Society’s, Agricultural Development Manager.

To attend the event as a delegate, please book your tickets online here 



East of England Agricultural Society backs new Soil Health Initiative

By | News

Exciting developments are underway for Soil Health in the UK and the East of England Agricultural Society is delighted to be working and supporting this new initiative launched today at Cereals.

The agricultural society has been developing a number of new initiatives which form part of their future plans and this new work with NIAB and others will hope to raise understanding of the health of soils across UK farmland and lay knowledge for generations to come.

With wide backing,  this new initiative for Soil Health is bringing together scientists, academics, industry farm advisers and farming bodies to take a long-term approach to understanding and improving the health of soils.

The new body is being formed as a direct response to the Government’s ambition that ‘all England’s soils should be managed sustainably by 2030, supporting profitable and productive farming, and underpinning targets for clean water and air…’ (Defra 25 year environment plan)

The new initiative aims to work with all devolved governments to deliver this aspiration across the UK. Working closely with Government, through voluntary actions the approach will help farmers and growers to pass on soils under agricultural management to the next generation protected and enhanced.

Initial backing has come from a range of research and advisory organisations, agrisupply businesses and soil laboratories as well farmers and growers. (Full list- see Notes for Editors). However, the partnership is keen expand to ensure as wide a representation of interests and disciplines as possible.

Developed over a series of industry gatherings, the initiative recognises that much is already being done to address the issues of soil health from research to practical field demonstrations. This renewed emphasis on soils will continue to build on the existing knowledge and skills base bringing together information, best practice and develop new approaches.  Identifying knowledge gaps and encouraging research into such areas will be an important part of the early work.

Elizabeth Stockdale of NIAB, an academic closely involved in the partnership comments: “From visits to innovative farmers and AHDB Monitor Farms, I have seen lots of research in action to deliver site-specific husbandry that treats soils as a living part of the farming system. This initiative is the opportunity to bring together the best science and practice to improve soil health.”

Work will also be undertaken to establish the characteristics for soil health and on-farm approaches to monitor them over time. While some measures, such as earthworms, can change quite rapidly, others such as soil organic matter change slowly, often over many years. Therefore, those involved are committed to a long-term approach to measuring soil health improvement.

Dave Freeman Chair of the Professional Agricultural Analysis Group (PAAG) says: “We want to focus on defining measures that help farmers understand soil health. As all soils differ, an ability to measure key factors is essential for good management and achieving improvements over time.”

On-farm advice will play a critical part. There will be no one-size fits all blueprint as improving soil health will be, in part, built on existing practice, soil type, climate, etc. Whether growing combinable crops, field vegetables or grass and forage crops there will be options to enhance productivity and soil health. The new initiative seeks to help farmers and growers understand how to manage soils for both improved productivity and increased sustainability, based on healthy soils.

Through initial meetings, the partnership recognised that work to address soil health is quite extensive. However, to date all this effort has lacked coordination. Working with the farming community, the emerging initiative will look to deliver a consistent and coordinated approach to improving soil health across the UK.

In the coming months, partners will promote the importance of measuring soil physical condition and topsoil organic matter alongside routine indicators for improved nutrient management. Case studies of best practice that already exist on farm will be developed alongside clear evidence that enables the agricultural industry to improve soil husbandry to support profitable and productive farming.

Further information:

William Haire, Agricultural Development Manager, East of England Agricultural Society

WHaire@eastofengland.org.uk                                                                             01733 234451

Dave Freeman, Policy Manager, AIC                                                                      01733 385240

Elizabeth Stockdale, Head of Farming Systems Research, NIAB                            07957 342401


Farm & Rural Business Awards Logo

Farms Competition Update

By | News

It is with great disappointment that the East of England Agricultural Society have made the decision to cancel the Farms Competition section of the Farm and Rural Business Awards for the 2018 competition. The second section of the awards, aimed at diversified businesses and added value food & drink producers will still run in 2018 with prizes presented at the 2018 Peterborough Dinner.

We also look forward to the Farm Walk where we will be taking a look round last years Supreme Champion farm- Courteenhall Estate. Please click here if you would like more information about attending that event.

For more information about the Farm & Rural Business Awards, including how to enter Section 2: Rural Business please click here

Bursary announced for members to attend RASC conference in Canada

By | Cultiv8, News

The East of England Agricultural Society is delighted to announce the opening of the RASC conference bursary applications. This year the East of England Agricultural Society has openings for two Members to attend the Royal Agricultural Society of the Commonwealth Conference in which takes place in November.

The Bi-annual conference takes place in a different Commonwealth Nation each time and this year the conference is to be held in Edmonton, Canada. The two successful bursary applicants will attend both the next generation conference and the main conference and also receive flights and accommodation as part of the package.

The East of England Agricultural Society supports the continued progression of individuals within the industry and believes that the RASC conference will provide a great source of knowledge for those who receive the Bursary.

The 2016 conference took Cultiv8 members Tom Martin and Amelia Rome to Singapore for the conference, and both have flourished on the knowledge learned at the event. Tom’s trip to Singapore sparked the ‘Facetime a Farmer’ initiative that has swept through the agricultural social media world over the course of the last year and how know been picked up by LEAF.

Bursary applications are open until the 3rd of August. The application process requires the candidate to pitch why they would benefit from the Bursary and the impact it would likely have on themselves and the Society. Applications will be judged by a panel appointed by the East of England Agricultural Society.

For more information, including specifics on how to apply please visit www.EastofEngland.org.uk/rasc18 , Email RTrolove@EastofEngland.org.uk or call 01733 234451

Commonwealth Agriculture Conference Logo

RASC Conference Bursary 2018

By | News

The East of England Agricultural Society is delighted to be offering the RASC conference Bursary again for the 2018 conference.

This year the event is to take place in Edmonton, Canada and the Society are looking to send 2 next generation members to attend (aged 25-40)

This years conference theme is: “connecting the world through food”

The Conference

The Next Generation Forum takes place in advance of the main conference with representatives hand selected by RASC member societies. They come from over 50 leading national and regional agricultural societies, associations and research bodies working in 20 Commonwealth countries. They are all under 40 years of age and bring a wide range of experiences.

The RASC Next Generation strategic intent is to develop an international network and support system that will foster the collaboration and exchange of ideas between the NG delegation and promote next generation leadership within the RASC and its member societies, much like Cultiv8 but on an international scale!

The main conference promotes and informs on a variety of topics including food security, sustainability and the future of farming at a global level. It also introduces agriculture in Asia and Singapore but also has an agricultural society specific track covering leadership, education and marketing. Further information can be found at www.rasc2018canada.com

Next Generation Conference– 3-5th November

Main Conference– 5-8th November


Applicants must;

  • Be aged between 25 and 40 at the time of the conference (requirement for ‘Next Generation’ Conference)
  • Be a member of the East of England Agricultural Society.
  • Be actively involved in the farming, food or allied industries.
  • Provide a report on the experience and present to the society council upon return.

How to apply

Complete the THIS FORM and return it with a written application of no more that 400 words stating your involvement with the East of England Agricultural Society, your background and experience, how you will benefit from the award and how the Society will benefit from supporting you.

The successful applicants will be chosen by a panel appointed by the East of England Agricultural Society. Their decision will be final and the Society reserves the right not to make any award.


Return your applications to RTrolove@EastofEngland.org.uk or Ruth Trolove, East of England Agricultural Society, East of England Showground, Peterborough, PE2 6XE

If you have any questions please use the email address above or call 01733 234451

Agricultural Society seeks organiser for long and meaningful relationship!

By | News

The East of England Agricultural Society, the charity and owner of the East of England Arena and Events Centre, has launched its campaign to find an organiser and partner for a high tech agricultural equipment show to be held at the venue.

William Haire, agricultural development manager at the East of England Agricultural Society, explained, “We have one of the most versatile event spaces in the country with 9000m2 of covered space and 250 acres outdoors, located at the heart of one of the UK’s most important food producing areas. Close to some of Britain’s leading universities, the venue is surrounded by food and farming businesses and has received over £1m in investment. We are perfectly placed to host a show focusing on the broad aspect of farm technology that is vital to successful modern agriculture. The Society is committed to promoting world-class agricultural practices and we believe that our venue and region should have a show that supports and promotes this view.”

“The Society has committed to this being a true partnership, we will provide the venue space and facilities as our part of the arrangement, leaving the organiser to focus on creating and marketing the show. Of course, we will be happy to lend our considerable experience in hosting agricultural shows to the venture, as and when required.” added Haire.

The East of England Agricultural Society was formed in 1970 by a merger of agricultural societies that trace their history back to the 18th century. It has an active programme of knowledge exchange among farmers and others engaged in the technical side of the agri sector.

“We have produced an event prospectus to help any interested organisers understand what we have to offer and how the partnership would be structured, it can be downloaded from our website. ” concluded Haire.

Prospectus download here

Annual lecture gives food for thought whilst feeding Britain

By | News, Shuttleworth Lecture

Hot debate grabbed the attention of the guests at last night’s East of England Shuttleworth Lecture when well known and respected guest speaker Sir Peter Kendall took to the mic.

The annual lecture organised by the East of England Agricultural Society was well attended by over 100 farmers, students and associated guests alike.

Titled “Feeding Britain” Peter focused on the future of farming and highlighted what the global challenges that will have an impact on food systems. Other key points delivered were that now is not the time to be creating an agricultural policy that is heavily reliant on imports.

He also mentioned that it’s not all down to the government to make the changes but for farmers as an industry to figure out how much they need to do. This point emphasised more onto the individual and encouraged collaboration through one central body who we can listen to and trust.

Introduced by lecture Chairman and East of England Agricultural Society member Andrew Davies, Peter was welcomed backed to the Shuttleworth Lecture as being the only guest speaker to return for a second talk, the first being back in 2010.

“It was great to have such a well-respected and trusted voice as a guest speaker, the evening was full of great debate and information, which I hope people will take away and make use for the future,” says William Haire East of England Agricultural Society’s, Agricultural Development Manager.

Thank you to Shuttleworth College for hosting the annual lecture and for all the people involved in organising this event.

A video of the evening will be available soon

For more information on the Shuttleworth Lecture please contact Ruth Trolove at the East of England Agricultural Society on RTrolove@eastofengland.org.uk or call 01733 234451

East of England Agricultural Society

The Skills Service Careers Show- Mission Possible

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The East of England Agricultural Society is proud to be supporting the Agri-Food section of Mission Possible, a careers event run by The Skills Service at the East of England Showground.

The event is the biggest skills and careers event in the East of England, targeted at 14-24 year olds with the aim of showcasing the wide variety of businesses, sectors and opportunities available, both locally and beyond.

The East of England plays a large and integral part in British agriculture and food production. Defra’s 2015 figures show that 40 698 people were employed on farms in the region, and 2017 figures from the NFU state that 476 000 people are employed on farms across the country. These figures don’t even include those that work in the allied industries.

This event allows us to inspire the next generation at the age where they are deciding what their next steps in life could be. Whether it is selecting university courses, apprenticeships, further education courses, or developing interests outside of education, all it could take to get them onto the path of agriculture and food production could be showing the full extent of the industry in a positive and enthusiastic light at this event!

Trade stand price varies depending on the size and requirements of each company, as a guide a 3mx3m trade stand with shell scheme, electric, spotlights, table, chairs and Wi-Fi is £300 + VAT

To get involved, or for more information visit www.theskillsservice.co.uk/mission-possible/

Shuttleworth Lecture- Sir Peter Kendall

By | News

We are delighted to be welcoming Sir Peter Kendall as guest speaker for this years Shuttleworth Lecture, the event is free to attend and open to all. To book your place email Ruth at RTrolove@EastofEngland.org.uk or call 01733 234451