To grow and prosper, UK agriculture needs to question its approach and its thinking according to Caroline Millar, the Oxford Farming Conference (OFC) Chairman. “As an industry, we will need to consider what needs to change and how the industry has to evolve in a new-world order, post Brexit.”
With this in mind, the 2018 conference theme will be Embracing Change and will run from 3-5 January 2018 at Oxford University.
“The opportunities for our farming sector are huge, but we need to be honest about what changes need to be made for the sector to progress – at a personal, family and business level,” says Ms Millar. “We also need change as an industry on all sorts of levels – very obviously with policy, but also in areas like collaboration, diversification and digitization.”
The line-up will include visionary speakers from around the world, many who have tackled both personal and professional adversity.
“It’s clear that state-of-mind plays a big part in farmers’ ability to deal with adversity and to prosper in life and business,” Ms Millar, a psychology and sociology graduate adds. “Psychologists suggest that when people are faced with what they see as negative change, their whole demeanour can become negative and they lose their ability to function. For farmers working long, lonely hours and struggling to make ends meet, finding the essential energy, positivity and open-mindedness to take action can seem impossible.”
The 2018 conference will tackle the difficult topics Ms Millar suggests, such as addressing behavioural changes needed within family businesses and how digital disruption could step-change British farming into a new realm of possibilities.
Bucking the trend from usual timings, ticket sales for OFC 2018 are live at a reduced early bird rate. To book go to www.ofc.org.uk.