About the Oxford Farming Conference
The UK’s number one farming conference:
The Oxford Farming Conference (OFC) is the leading international conference held in the UK for farming and agribusiness. It takes place in January every year located in the historic and inspiring surroundings of Oxford University. The OFC's mission is to inform, challenge and inspire the 560 or so delegates who attend, to resonate and be a force for positive change throughout the industry.
The conference provides:
- Independent thought leadership and challenge of the highest calibre
- A highly regarded cross-industry networking opportunity of key influencers
- A progressive and forward-looking outlook with an international dimension
- The inspiration and encouragement for positive change
It’s a role that’s developed over 80 years of its history – since the first farming conference in Oxford took place in 1936, OFC has become a pivotal part in giving issues a voice and in sparking and airing debates.
Challenging industry leaders
The OFC is attended by leaders from within all elements of British agriculture. Among delegates who attend are royalty, UK and overseas politicians, farmers, agribusiness, NGOs, leading scientists, opinion formers and scholars. There is always a strong media presence at Oxford, with journalists attending from radio and TV, podcast, broadsheets, agricultural trade, food media and newswire.
Inspiring future generations
The OFC Scholars Sponsorship Scheme enables many young people to participate in the conference who may not otherwise have the opportunity to attend, giving them a valuable stepping stone into a fulfilling career in farming or agribusiness.
The Emerging Leaders programme brings together up to 15 farmers from across the UK, aged 30-45, specially selected as individuals with progressive farm businesses and who demonstrate thought leadership.
The programme brings a key audience to the Conference, immerses them in Conference activity, inspires them to progress their own business and relay experiences to others.
Informing all year round
The OFC undertakes other debates and educational activities throughout the year, including networking events, debates at other farming and rural events and digital engagement within the UK and beyond.
The legal structure
The Company is a registered charity (registered number 294139) and is limited by guarantee, number 2005012. The governing body is the Council of Trustees and the memorandum and articles of association adopted on incorporation 27th March 1986. The Trustees have unlimited powers of investment.
Delivery of the Oxford Farming Conference
The Oxford Farming Conference is a registered charity with a remit for education and a limited company. There are ten voluntary directors, including a treasurer, who each serve for a period of three years. Each director serves a three-year term, with the exception of the treasurer.
An employed secretariat is responsible for administration, ticket sales and successful delivery of the conference. It also manages the requirements of sponsors and sponsorship opportunities.
There is a marketing and media consultant, responsible for promoting the conference, managing the press and curating website content. A treasurer also supports the delivery of the conference.
The OFC is funded by ticket sales, sponsorship and patronage, with ticket prices set to achieve a break-even position.
The annual report and accounts can be downloaded here
Minutes from the 34th AGM hosted in January 2021 can be downloaded here
The OFC's history
The first farming conference in Oxford took place in 1936. From the history outlined below, it is very apparent how pivotal the OFC has been in giving issues a voice and in sparking and airing debates. A tradition that is still very much at the heart of the OFC today. In 1960, the conference moved venues again to the Town Hall in Oxford. In 1968 the conference took another enforced rest due to Foot and Mouth disease ravaging UK agriculture which made it irresponsible to hold an event that gathered farmers from across the UK. It was not until the 1970s that the truly international remit of OFC developed.