Leading Farming Conference Seeks Incoming Directors

OFC Directors

The leading industry conference for farming and agri-business, is seeking new directors to join its council for a three-year term from 2020. The OFC, which is held every January, has become a high-profile event within the farming industry as well as extending to wider audiences and stakeholders. It is looking to appoint three new directors with a progressive approach to farming to join its 10-strong team and to drive a creative conference programme that continues to inform, challenge and inspire. The closing date for applications is Friday 18th May 2018.

The OFC attracts over 600 delegates from both farming and the wider food chain, science and government, and, as a charity, invests in young people, agricultural education and knowledge-sharing. The Directors’ role is to work with the rest of the team to deliver the conference programme, speakers and the extended activities now linked to the OFC including the debate at the Royal Highland Show. 

Current Chairman, Tom Allen-Stevens, an Oxfordshire farmer and magazine editor, says:

“We are looking for applications from really motivated, well connected and experienced people from all parts of the industry that will keep the OFC as the leader of the pack. It is immensely challenging and rewarding and also a great privilege to be part of delivering such a prestigious event for the industry. In my years on the council, I have met so may interesting and motivating people, engaged in informative and often heated debate and learned a lot about our industry. It is an experience and opportunity that I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend.”

Tom - Chairman

The OFC director positions are honorary but reasonable expenses are reimbursed and attendance at the conference is offered free of charge for the three years in office. The OFC council, which is supported by a professional secretariat and a marketing consultant, is looking for directors who are committed and active within the agricultural industry, whether from farming, media, law or trade. 

Applicants should have creative ideas and concepts for the future development of the OFC, and be able to bring some of the following to the council: a track record of successful innovation in agriculture or horticulture; experience of developing agricultural policies and strategy; highly effective communication, networking and PR skills; or broad and effective networks of contacts across the public, private and academic sectors, with particular interest in building overseas contacts. The OFC council is selected to include a complement of skills and experience, and if their particular skills are already represented on the council, interested parties are recommended to apply in another year.

Mr Allen-Stevens, who was voted Chairman in his third and final year, adds:

“The conference goes from strength to strength, and in recent years we have seen it broaden its audience through our various programmes for young people, as well as the strong line-up of speakers which have enticed different people. With innovation and inspiration at its core, the conference attracts some of the best people in agribusiness and is recognised as one of the greatest networking events in the industry.”

Current directors on the OFC Council are Chairman Tom Allen-Stevens, Treasurer David Turner, Ian Damms, Anna Hill, Matthew Naylor, Andrew Pitts, Julie Robinson, Professor Nigel Scollan, Will Surman and Sally Williams. Tom Allen-Stevens, Julie Robinson and Will Surman will be leaving the Council after the 2019 conference. Biographies can be found here.

The closing date for applications is 5pm on Friday 18 May 2018.