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Decision Makers, Ground Breakers and Risk Takers take centre stage at this year’s EoEFC

By | News


14th August 2018

Decision Makers, Ground Breakers and Risk Takers take centre stage at this year’s EoEFC

The East of England Farming Conference is excited to announce a solid line up of speakers for their 4th annual farming conference taking place on the 1 November.

This year’s conference organised by the East of England Agricultural Society and titled “Fit for the Future” is crafted to challenge industry business leaders to understand, embrace, and adapt to change in the coming years.

Heading up the day’s events are political heavy weights and industry leaders which include: Shadow Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs and Labour MP for Workington, Sue Hayman; Conservative MP and Chair of the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Select Committee Neil Parish; NFU Vice Chairman Stuart Roberts and to complete session 1 titled “Decision makers” is founder and chief executive of the Sustainable Food Trust Patrick Holden CBE.

In session 2 titled “Ground Breakers” we introduce innovative and pioneering leading experts from a range of industries. AHDB Strategic farmer, Brian Barker; Hertfordshire farmer and director of Groundswell farming conference John Cherry; Consultant Bioagronomist for PlantWorks Ltd, Jamie Stotzka; and William Wells, Founder and CEO of Hummingbird Technologies.

The third and final session “Risk Takers” will welcome an inspirational line up of farmers, businessmen/women and entrepreneurs starting with Stephen Jones, founder and director of The British Quinoa Company; Emily & Guy French, Foxes Farm Produce; and Wil Armitage, Organic Dairy Farmer.

Commenting on this year’s conference session 1 speaker, NFU Vice Chairman Stuart Roberts said; “This year’s East of England Farming Conference comes at such an interesting time for the industry. I am looking forward to looking beyond Brexit and start to assess some of the longer term trends that will influence our industry over the next decade.”

To find out more about the conference and to attend the event as a delegate, please book your tickets online via our website www.eastofengland.org.uk.

If you would like to have a trade stand or to find out more about our sponsorship opportunities please contact Ruth on RTrolove@eastofengland.org.uk or call 01733 234451.


Note to editors

The East of England Farming Conference is owned and managed by the East of England Agricultural Society and takes place at the East of England Showground, Peterborough PE2 6XE.

Launched in 2015 the East of England Farming Conference offers progressive farmers, business men and women, students and guests alike an opportunity to attend an event which inspires engages and motivates, plus an enjoyable and social day.

Conference sponsors include: AS Communications, Roythornes, British Sugar, Brown & Co., CXCS, Soil Fertility Services, Land Family Business, Daltons Seeds, Easton Otley, NFU, Produce World, Syngenta, Active Business Partnerships, and Premium Crops

For further press information please contact Kerry Buttriss on 01733 234451 or email Kbuttriss@eastofengland.org.uk For more information about the East of England Agricultural Society please visit our website on www.eastofengland.org.uk

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Be Bright, Stay Safe

By | News

The East of England Agricultural Society is supporting UK Power Networks Be Bright, Stay Safe Campaign.

Please take the time to have a read through the Look out, Look up flyer for more information about how to protect yourself from the dangers of working around electricity

[googlepdf url=”https://www.eastofengland.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2018/08/BeBrightStaySafe-Farming-leaflet-2.pdf” download=”Download” width=”100%” height=”600″]

Taste of Africa - Timeline Decoration - East of England Agricultural Society

 Agricultural graduates set to change lives through sustainable farming

By | News

 Agricultural graduates set to change lives through sustainable farming

 Fifteen graduates from the Marshal Papworth Fund scholarship programme are heading home at the end of their studies in the UK, taking back to their eight home countries sustainable farming skills to help their communities to farm more productively and sustainably, fulfilling the agricultural charity’s vision to help developing countries grow themselves out of hunger.

To date, 184 students have graduated from scholarships funded by the agricultural charity, working across developing countries to overcome issues including food insecurity, poverty and climate change in a sustainable way. Kenyan Peter Ouma, graduating from his MSc in Sustainable Agriculture and Food Security at the Royal Agricultural University said: “The scholarship has given all of us the ability to realise dreams that we didn’t think were ever possible. This will enable us to get the step up we need in order to make a real impact on the communities we work with.”

The students, comprising seven from the specially devised 10-week Short Course at Moulton College, and eight studying Masters degrees, graduated from their courses in front of over 80 VIPs at a special “Taste of Africa” drinks reception organized to celebrate their studies. They return home full of inspiration to share their newfound knowledge on a variety of subject areas including soil conservation, biodiversity, livestock management, woodland and wetland conservation, business planning and budgeting. The Masters students will also be completing their dissertations in the coming months. President of the East of England Agricultural Society, The Bishop of Ely Stephen Conway, led the speeches on the presentation evening, reminding the audience of the critical role that agriculture plays in improving livelihoods in Africa.

Marshal Papworth Fund chairman Tom Arthey praised the students for their dedication: “The students have all made great commitments and personal sacrifice to spend time here, away from their families, with the objective of improving their own lives and those of their fellow countrymen. We wish them all well on their return and look forward to hearing the impact of the courses they have completed.”

Representing the Short Course students, Kenyan agricultural extension officer Caroline Andango gave thanks for the opportunity that she and her fellow students have been given: “Marshal Papworth Fund and Moulton College have blessed us with a life changing experience that has enabled us to see and do so much. We will be able to go back home full of practical and sustainable knowledge and ideas for our communities.”

The Marshal Papworth Fund is wholly managed by the East of England Agricultural Society and has already helped improve the lives of over one hundred and eighty students from developing countries through its Masters Programme and 10-week Short Course. In order to continue this work and give more students the opportunity to benefit from its scholarships, the Fund relies on donations. To find out more and to make a donation contact Sandra Lauridsen on 01733 363514 or email slauridsen@eastofengland.org.uk for more information.


 Photo: High resolution image available upon request.

Media Enquires:

For more information please contact Amy Woolliscroft: amy@artheyassociates.co.uk Arthey Associates.

 About Marshal Papworth:

Marshal Papworth is a charity formed in 2001 from funds bequeathed from Marshal Papworth, an East Anglian farmer.  It is wholly managed by the East of England Agricultural Society.  Through its scholarship programmes the charity develops life changing, land-based skills, enabling students, from developing countries to facilitate sustainable farming within their own communities.


Agri industry needs to do more for school leavers

By | News

Despite the much publicised need for more people and a wealth of exciting opportunities for young people thinking of a career in the agricultural industry, food and farming still has a long way to go to raise its profile with school leavers.

This was proven last week when the East of England Agricultural Society attended the Mission Possible Careers Show at the Peterborough Arena.

Organised by the Skills Service, Mission Possible is targeted at young people aged 14-24. This year around 5,000 visitors from 38 schools across the region attended with the aim of finding inspiration for their future careers from over a wide range of exhibitors and industries.

In the dedicated Agrifood Zone, Bakkavor, British Sugar, East of England Agricultural Society, Greenvale, Karsten, National Centre for Food Manufacturing, and Tulip Ltd represented the regions entire food and farming industries.

“This event has been a real eye opener, when talking to the students and asking them if they know what opportunities and options there were in the agricultural industry, many didn’t know but significantly they were interested to find out. Surprisingly this also applied to teachers and careers advisors. We need to take responsibility and urgent action, as agriculture is losing out to better organised sectors, in part because we have no unified industry body actively promoting agriculture.

Many large companies offer graduate programmes which suit those coming with a university background, but there is a lack of information about our industry for students to identify career paths and alternative routes including modern apprenticeship.” says William Haire, Agricultural Development Manager for the East of England Agricultural Society.

Keen to develop ideas the East of England Agricultural Society will continue to engage with schools, teachers, local government and councils to gather information which will be used to plan future programmes and resources to ensure students are made aware of what agriculture can offer them.

For more information about the East of England Agricultural Society please contact William Haire, Agricultural Development Manager, East of England Agricultural Society WHaire@eastofengland.org.uk 01733 234451

Also the Skills Service on www.theskillsservice.co.uk


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


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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

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