The Oxford Farming Conference

Thursday 5th August, 2021

Bitesize 1: Family farms: where are the routes to resilience?

Are family farms resilient for the future? Do they have the skills and resources required to operate a viable business? And most importantly can they get access to the “routes” required to give them a fair playing field?

Family farms often fall into the “squeezed middle”, not your niche businesses nor your large commercial enterprises but those who sit in the middle ground of agriculture and are often overlooked by the industry or pushed to look for their own innovative solutions due to a lack of support.

During our bitesize, we hear from three farmers who are embedded in family businesses and have felt the squeeze. They talk about the challenges they face and their solutions for the future.


  • John Pawsey - Arable, Sheep, Renewables, Machinery Sales, Organic - Shimpling Park Farms Ltd, Suffolk, England
  • Jamie McCoy - Dairy, Sheep, Pigs, Pumpkins - Gorwel Farm, Bryngwyn, Wales
  • John Martin - Sheep, Dairy Heifer Rearing, Arable, Renewables - Gordonall Farms, Co Down, Ireland


  • Barbara Bray - OFC Co-Chair 2021-22


To watch this Bitesize back, click here


The August OFC Bitesize is hosted in partnership with


Thursday 2nd September, 2021

Bitesize 2: Farming on the Frontline of Climate Change

With COP26 on the horizon, we travel across the world to speak to three farmers to find out more about the challenges they are facing with climate change, how they are coping and adapting, and what they need to support them in the future.

Farming on the Frontline of Climate Change, will discuss how farmers can be part of the solution, the role of technology and farming practices, and put forward their key ask to those in power.


  • Tumaini Elibariki - Farm Africa
  • Martin Lines - a farmer in the UK and founder of Nature Friendly Farmers Network
  • Ellen Litchfield - a farmer and veterinarian from Australia


  • Liz Bowles, OFC Director


Watch back here


The September OFC Bitesize is hosted in partnership with


Thursday 7th October, 2021

Bitesize 3: Farming's Future Workforce

Over the last few weeks the press has been dominated by agricultural labour challenges with “Christmas” put on hold by Tesco due to a shortage of staff to rear and prepare turkeys, Australia announcing an agricultural labour crisis due to visa restrictions, farmers reporting rotting fruit due to not enough workers to pick it and a pig backlog of nearly 85,000 due to a lack of staff in the abattoirs.

But this isn’t a new challenge. Over the last decade, we have seen reports of staff shortages in nearly every sector of agriculture and horticulture. This, combined with a lack of housing and rising costs, means employing someone is becoming more and more difficult.

In our next OFC Bitesize, we hear how the industry and farmers are innovating to attract and retain “Farming’s Future Workforce”. The panel will explore how novel technologies, such as robots, can increase productivity, what human skills are required to approach future demands, and share their own positive solutions.

This free event will last one-hour and welcome questions from the audience.

Hosted in partnership with the Institute of Agricultural Management



Watch back here

Thursday 4th November, 2021

Bitesize 4: Resilient Leadership - Global Farming in the 21st Century

Good leadership can influence a business, its people, and the way it is perceived by the industry. It can define the direction, inspire a vision and create a positive culture for all involved.

But what does good leadership look like and how has it changed over the years? What skills and experience do leaders need to be resilient now and in the future, in particular during this turbulent time within agriculture. What are the qualities of a good leader?

During our final Bitesize of 2021, we partner with the Global Farmer Network to hear from three leaders from different parts of the world, specialising in different areas of agriculture. We look at leadership from the perspective of communications and the media, on-farm and within the supply chain, and in the world of business and finance.

This free event will last one-hour and welcome questions from the audience.

Hosted in partnership with the Global Farmer Network



To register for this free event, click here