The Oxford Farming Conference

Speakers 2016

Please view speaker details below. Click on pdf links to download supporting materials.

Other Years
Haven Baker

Haven Baker

Haven Baker is the General Manager and Vice President of Plant Sciences at the J.R. Simplot Company, one of the largest privately held food and agribusiness companies in the country, with annual sales of approximately $6 billion. In his capacity, Baker is responsible for identifying and commercializing new agricultural technologies. Baker built the strategy and team for Simplot's biotechnology potato effort. Recently the USDA approved Simplot's genetically engineered Innate™ potato with consumer and crop benefits.Baker has significant experience at the intersection of technology and business. He served as a senior scientist at the Barnett Institute at Northeastern University and later worked as an investment professional at Clarium Capital before joining Simplot in 2009. Baker received a B.S. from Yale University, a PhD in chemistry from Northeastern University, and an MBA with distinction from Harvard Business School. Baker grew up on a farm in Moses Lake, Washington.

Driving change with technology

Haven Baker powerpoint

Phil Hogan

Phil Hogan

Commissioner Hogan grew up on a farm in rural Kilkenny, in south-east Ireland. From 1989 until he became Commissioner, he represented the Carlow/Kilkenny constituency in Dáil Éireann, the Irish Parliament, where he served in the Fine Gael Party shadow cabinet and as spokesman on Europe, on the food industry, on consumer affairs and on regional policy. Between 2011 and 2014, he served as Minister for the Environment and Local Government in the Irish Government of Prime Minister Enda Kenny TD. During this time, he successfully implemented a broad-ranging agenda, including the biggest reform of local government since the foundation of the Irish State. He has also occupied various senior posts at local, national and European level, including President of the Council of EU Environment Ministers (2013), Chairman of the European People's Party of Environment Ministers (2012-14), National Director of Elections for the Fine Gael party (2010-11), Fine Gael Director of Organisation (2002-07), Chairman of Kilkenny County Council (1985 and 1998), Chairman of the Fine Gael Parliamentary Group (1995-2001) and Minister of State at the Irish Department of Finance (1994-95).Prior to his entry to politics, he established and subsequently directed an insurance and real estate business. He also managed the family farm between 1981-83 and is a graduate of University College Cork, with a BA in Economics and Geography (1981).

Phil Hogan, EU Commissioner Agriculture, paper

Phil Hogan Paper, Brexit Debate OFC 2016

Emlyn Evans

Emlyn Evans

In 2004 Emlyn returned to the family farm in Leamington Spa in order to discover whether working for himself was really what he wanted to do for the rest of his life. Since then he has been heavily involved with developing and setting up of three profitable family businesses which are currently trading from Squab Hall and with a combined turnover of £3.5 million and employing over forty full time people he has really had to learn on the job!Between 2001 & 2003 Emlyn worked for James Dyson, as part of his graduate scheme which provided a fascinating insight in to the challenges with an expanding business. He was educated at the University of Reading & studied Agricultural Economics.Emlyn has been subjected to range of challenges throughout his non working life, having played junior international sport and in 2007 he took part in a race to the North Pole along with two other close friends.

From hen house to humidity controlled warehouse – have you managed to sweat your assets?

Emlyn Evans paper

From hen house to humidity controlled warehouse - have you managed to sweat your assets?

Gareth Barlow

Gareth Barlow

Despite having no farming background, Gareth has always been fascinated by the agricultural industry.Childhood visits to a Cumbrian hill farm sowed the seeds of intrigue and he realised his farming dream aged seventeen after buying half a dozen sheep. Six intervening years saw him train as a butcher and slaughterman, expand the flock to five hundred and supply lamb to thirty restaurant customers, with ten Michelin stars.In 2014 Gareth began working for the BBC. He presents a weekly food and farming programme, provides commentary for BBC News and has also fronted pieces for Countryfile. If he's not broadcasting he's busy writing articles, enjoying photography, or talking to the next generation of farmers

Craig Carr

Craig Carr

In 1997 Craig Carr at the age of 18 joined the Carr Group family business started by his father and mother Greg and Glenys Carr in the mid-70s's. Craig entered a newly purchased business in seed processing and over 9 years developed one of the leading edge, high value seed processing operations in Australasia which he then sold in 2005 to Agricom NZ.In 2000 the Carr Group purchased Winslow Feeds and in 10 years Craig and his family developed the Winslow Group into an innovative progressive agri business in animal feed and nutrition, grain and seed, farm contracting and robotic milking equipment selling a mixture of products and services throughout NZ and internationally to over 40 countries around the world.In 2011 Craig merged the Winslow Feeds and Nutrition business with Seales Stockfoods to create Seales Winslow which at this time created New Zealand's largest ruminant feed business which was then sold to Ballance Agri Nutrient 100% in 2013. Craig then continued to focus on building and developing the Winslow Groups seed business both domestically and internationally along with adding additional companies to the Carr Group.In 2014 the Carr Group purchased the Elders NZ business from Elders Australian creating a new group brand Carrfields now one of the only 100% New Zealand family owned agri businesses servicing arable, pastoral, sheep, beef, dairy and horticultural farmers.Craig is now the Managing Director of the Carrfields Group with annual revenues of approximately NZD $220-250 Million per annum and is supported by his father, brothers and sister and 450 staff across, NZ, Australia, India and Ethiopia. 

Our Family Agri-Business – from one farm to a global enterprise

Craig Carr powerpoint

Craig Carr paper

Judith Batchelar OBE

Judith Batchelar OBE

Director of Sainsbury's Brand for 11 years, Judith is responsible for all aspects of Sainsbury's product offer, from policy formation on aspects such as Animal Welfare, Ethical and Sustainable Sourcing, through to Product Technology, Product Development, Product Safety, and Packaging. Essentially driving the Quality and Innovation agendas and protecting and enhancing the reputation of Sainsbury's Brand. She has a particular interest and expertise in building resilient and sustainable farming and food systems.

Judith has worked in the food and drink industry for over 30 years and is a Biochemist and Registered Nutritionist. Before Sainsbury's, Judith held a similar role at Safeway, spent 12 years in the Food Division at Marks & Spencer, most latterly driving their Health and Well-being strategy, and prior to this worked in manufacturing for Mars and Bass.

In addition to her work at Sainsbury's, Judith sits on the Executive Board of the Prince's Accounting for Sustainability Project, the Board of Trustees for Farm Africa and The Matt Hampson Foundation, is a member of the Institute of Food Science and Technology (IFST), and a fellow of the Royal Society of Arts and Manufacturers. She is also an ambassador for the Woodland Trust and Co Chairs the Governments Industrial Leadership Council working on the implementation of the UK's first Agri-Tech Strategy.

 

Optimising the best that nature has to offer

Judith Batchelar powerpoint

Michael Blanche

Michael Blanche

Trained and qualified as a Rural Surveyor. Associate at Davidson and Robertson Land Agents, Currie until 1999 (6 years) specialising in compensation and estate management. Moved to SAC as Agricultural Consultant (up to 2004), qualified agronomist, specialising in combinable crops, sheep, cattle, business reviews. Self Employed Farm Consultant to present. Consultant to Baird Lumsden 2011 to present; QMS Knowledge Transfer Specialist (part time) as of 1st April 2014 following on from Sheep Development Officer with them. Monthly column in the Courier enjoyed by 60% of those that read it. Nuffield Scholar.

Started farming 12 years ago. 8 years on seasonal lets - mostly over 30 miles from home. Tried and failed 7 times to get a tenancy. 2011 successful in getting an LDT from Dupplin Estate for 515 acre farm near Forgandenny (half grass hill, half PGRS). 650 breeding sheep, 170 cattle this summer (sadly not mine). Manage 380 sheep next door too.

Kerry McCarthy

Kerry McCarthy

Kerry McCarthy was first elected Labour MP for Bristol East in 2005, and was recently appointed Labour's Shadow Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs. She previously served as a Shadow Foreign Office Minister (covering issues including human rights and international climate change) and before that, as shadow Treasury minister. She has had alongstanding interest in environmental issues and food policy. She introduced a Food Waste (Reduction) Bill in this Parliament and is a patron of FoodCycle, as well as former Chair of the Agroecology APPG and Vice-Chair of the Agriculture & Food for Development APPG.

Kerry McCarthy MP paper

Kerry McCarthy MP

Professor Susan Jebb

Professor Susan Jebb

With over 25 years experience in nutrition research, Susan's expertise spans a range of public health nutrition issues, with particular emphasis on the translation of nutrition science into policy and practice. Her personal research programme focuses on the role of dietary factors in the aetiology and treatment of obesity. It includes observational studies on dietary patterns and weight gain, explanatory dietary intervention studies and more pragmatic trials of weight management strategies suitable for primary care settings. Susan is one of the Chairs of the NICE Public Health Advisory Committees and from 2007-15 was a science advisor on obesity and food policy to the Department of Health. She regularly contributes to media features on food or obesity including several BBC documentaries. In 2008 she was awarded an OBE for services to public health.

Food for a fitter future

Prof Susan Jebb

David Fischhoff

David Fischhoff

David Fischhoff joined The Climate Corporation in 2014 as Chief Scientist where he leads the company's R&D efforts in modeling, measurements and field research. Prior to this David was Vice President, Technology Strategy and Development for Monsanto Company. David spent 30 years in Monsanto's R&D division and was a key architect in the growth and development of Monsanto's seeds and traits platforms. He is the inventor of insect resistant crop plants and holds multiple patents on this technology.David was also the founder of Monsanto's genomics program, and from 1998 through 2002 he served as President of Cereon Genomics, a Monsanto subsidiary formed in collaboration with Millennium Pharmaceuticals.

David holds an S.B. in Biology from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and a Ph.D. in Genetics and Molecular Biology from The Rockefeller University.

Digitization: The next revolution in agriculture

David Fischhoff powerpoint

David Fischhoff paper

Dr Bram Govaerts

Dr Bram Govaerts

Bram Govaerts, 35, is the current Associate Global Director of the Global Conservation Agriculture Program at the International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center (CIMMYT), where he leads the Conservation Agriculture and Sustainable Intensification Strategy for Latin America. His research program includes a portfolio of long-term conservation agriculture trials and experiments in different agro-ecological areas in Mexico and Central America to look at sustainable maize and wheat production systems, representing not only conditions in Mexico but also for examples those found in the Indo-Gangetic Plain in South Asia. Maize and wheat are 2 out of the 3 main crops providing human calories and their production in the developing countries is under pressure of climate change, degraded soils, non-working markets and inefficient use of inputs. To achieve the goal of increasing food production from existing farmland, whilst minimizing pressure on the environment with the required technological innovation, Govaerts focuses on science while generating a system of agricultural innovation through partnership models.

 

Frank Parkinson Lecture - Innovation and Intensification for Sustainable agriculture

Dr Bram Govaerts powerpoint

Dr Bram Govaerts paper

Dr Pearse Lyons

Dr Pearse Lyons

Dr T Pearse Lyons is the founder and president of Alltech, a top 10 animal health company that employs more than 4,200 people and conducts business in 128 countries. Founded in 1980 with $10,000 capital, the company has grown to annual sales of $1.6 billion. Dr. Lyons is widely recognized as an innovative industry leader. His scientific expertise, combined with an acute business sense, helped revolutionize the animal feed industry through the introduction of natural ingredients to feed. Now in its fourth decade of business, Alltech improves the health and performance of people, animals and plants through natural nutrition and scientific innovation. Dr. Lyons received his bachelor's degree from University College Dublin, Ireland, and obtained his master's and doctoral degrees at the University of Birmingham, England.

He later worked as a biochemist for Irish Distillers before founding Alltech. Since then, he has authored more than 20 books and numerous research papers in scientific journals. Dr. Lyons was acknowledged as leading one of the top 100 fastestgrowing high tech companies by World Trade Magazine.

Dr. Lyons spearheaded Alltech's commitment to international equestrian sport, beginning with the AlltechFEI World Equestrian GamesTM 2010 in Lexington, Kentucky, which led to his receipt of the Commonwealth of Kentucky's first-ever Legacy Award in 2011, and including the record-breaking Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games™2014 in Normandy, France.

Farmer or Pharmacist?

Dr Lyons paper

Julian Marks

Julian Marks

Julian is Managing Director of Barfoots of Botley Limited , farmers, grower, processors and packers of a range of exotic and semi exotic vegetables, for UK and European retailers.Being at Barfoots for the last 10 years he has been responsible for significant investments in processing and handling capacity and the development of the companies' extensive renewable energy production facilities, whilst developing a culture of Continuous Improvement to enhance competitiveness and sustainability.The son of a Hampshire Farmer his previous career has involved General Management roles in Fresh Produce and primary production businesses in the UK and Africa following five years in the British Army.

Where does the future come from?

Julian Marks paper

Julian Marks powerpoint

Aled Rhys Jones

Aled Rhys Jones

Aled is currently a 2015 Nuffield Farming Scholar having been awarded the Young Nuffield (Bob Matson) Award to study "The role of agricultural shows in promoting, developing and innovating the agricultural industry".

Born and raised on the family's 700-acre hill farm at Tyllwyd, Cwrt-y-Cadno, Carmarthenshire, he studied Rural Land Management at the University of Reading and graduated with a 1st Class Honours Degree in 2007. Shortly afterwards, Aled joined Swansea-based surveying firm, Rees Richards & Partners, as an Assistant Land Agent. In 2009, he qualified as a Chartered Surveyor and admitted as a Fellow of the Central Association of Agricultural Valuers. After spending 6 years with Rees Richards and having been made Partner of the firm, Aled was appointed the Assistant Chief Executive of the Royal Welsh Agricultural Society.

Aled has remained involved in the family farm where he has gained most of his knowledge and practical experience of agriculture. The farm business centres on a flock of 1,100 ewes and a small herd of beef cattle. The sheep enterprise is focused on an early lambing flock with the lamb marketed through the Cambrian Mountain Initiative. Aled has also been very active in the Young Farmers movement and is past Chairman of Dyffryn Cothi YFC.

 

Rt Hon Owen Paterson

Rt Hon Owen Paterson

Rt Hon Owen Paterson MP has been the Member of Parliament for North Shropshire (Conservative) since 1997.

Owen was in David Cameron's Cabinet as Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (2012 – 2014) and Secretary of State for Northern Ireland (2010 – 2012). In Opposition, he was on the front bench team as Shadow Secretary of State for Northern Ireland (2007 - 2010), Shadow Minister for Transport (2006 – 2007), Shadow Minister for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (2003 – 2005), and Parliamentary Private Secretary to the Leader of the Opposition (2001 – 2003), and Opposition Whip (2000 – 2001). As a backbencher he sat on the Agriculture, European Scrutiny, and Welsh Affairs Select Committees.

He founded the think tank UK 2020 in 2014 in order to research and publish optimistic, outward-looking, electorally viable conservative policies as a vital contribution to the Conservative Party.

Owen read History at the University of Cambridge, attended the National Leathers College, and spent twenty years in the leather industry before entering Parliament.

Twitter: @Owen_PatersonMPTwitter: @_UK2020www.uk2020.org.uk

Owen Paterson MP

Owen Paterson MP Paper

Muhammad Azam Roomi PhD

Muhammad Azam Roomi PhD

Dr Roomi has successfully completed a variety of research and teaching/capacity building assignments for the establishment and development of entrepreneurial ventures at international level. Prior to joining Cranfield University as a Senior Lecturer and the Director of Executive MBA as well as MSc Entrepreneurship and Management Programme, he held a principal lectureship at the University of Bedfordshire.He has acted as a consultant to a number of national governments including the UK, Qatar, Oman, Bangladesh, Malaysia, Pakistan, Vietnam, and Honduras; multi-lateral agencies such as the World Bank, Asian Development Bank, European Union Higher Education Social Fund, ILO, and UN-APCTT; and private sector organizations such as Bertelsmann AG, CIPE Int., LEAD Int., and InfoTech. He has also served on the boards of Marsh Farm Futures - Community Development Trust (Chairperson), United Kingdom Women's Advisory Group (Founding Member), Female Entrepreneurship Economic Imperative European Citizens Initiative, ACT4Growth (Founding Member), and Institute of Small Business and Entrepreneurship (Vice President).

Neil Perkins

Neil Perkins

Neil farms at Dinas Island Farm - 600 acres on the coast of North Pembrokeshire - with his wife Lynda and father Roger. Coming home to the traditional mixed family farm after college, it was obvious that the subsidy dependant system had to be rejuvenated and in 2005 Neil was fortunate to be awarded a RWAS sponsored Nuffield Scholarship. He travelled to New Zealand to study their sheep and grass systems and took the decision to drop the arable and beef enterprises at home to concentrate on grass and sheep. The latest HSG Aber mixes are sown in conjunction with chicory, white clover, plantain and red clovers and a system of rotationally grazed paddocks has been developed to maximise yield and utilisation. The sheep flock was closed after buying a nucleus of Lleyn ewes and home bred replacements increased the flock to 2000 ewes and 500 hoggets. This year a further flock of 400 AberMax ewes has been purchased to run alongside the Lleyns for producing ram lambs for sale as a breeding partner to Innovis. Through data collection of grass yield and sheep production, a system of increased output and genetic improvement is rigorously followed. This has gained Neil the accolade of Farmers Weekly Sheep Farmer of the Year in 2012 and also won him the Welsh and then the UK Grassland Management Competition. Last year he won the Steven and Gill Bullock Award for Nuffield Innovation.

Unlocking performance with data collection

Neil Perkins powerpoint

James Withers

James Withers

Scotland Food & Drink (SF&D) is the industry leadership body, established in 2007 to spearhead the industry's growth from £10 billion in 2007 to £16.5 billion by 2017. As a membership organisation, it seeks to support food and drink businesses of all sizes and scale to achieve their ambitions. The organisation has 360 companies in its membership of all shapes and sizes. James has been CEO since 2011.

Prior to joining the organisation, James worked for the National Farmers Union Scotland and spent 12 years with NFUS in various roles promoting the interest of the nation's farming industry. He was Strategy & Communications Director, Deputy CEO and then CEO from 2008-2011.

James is also a Board member of the Scottish Tourism Alliance, which is driving forward a new, ambitious tourism strategy for Scotland.Through SF&D's work in linking food and drink, tourism and major events, James has been involved in work around the Olympics, Commonwealth Games and Ryder Cup in recent years.

 

Industry growth & the health agenda: friends or foe?

James Withers powerpoint

Graham Redman

Graham Redman

Graham is a Partner and economist in the highly acclaimed research team of The Andersons Centre, agribusiness consultants. He provides specialist agri-business research services, forecasting, training, briefings and project-work. Graham is also the author of the John Nix Farm Management Pocketbook. Before joining Andersons, Graham was the economist for a major agricultural merchant, focussing chiefly on grain and feed markets providing guidance to the trading and procurement teams. Prior to that, he worked for a farm management consultancy in Central and Southern England. Graham has agricultural degrees from Leeds and Reading Universities.

Linda Tinson

Linda Tinson

Linda is Director, Rural Business, with Ledingham Chalmers, solicitors based in the Stirling Agricultural Centre. She comes from an extended farming family, which gives her an insightful overview of the peculiarities of family businesses and has a wide-ranging and active interest in all rural activities. Linda is a graduate of the Scottish Rural Leadership Programme 2010/11, Vice Chairman of the Scottish Land and Estates Central Region Committee, Chairman of the Light Horse committee of Central and West Fife Show and a life member of the Royal Highland Agricultural Society.

RT Hon Elizabeth Truss MP

RT Hon Elizabeth Truss MP

Elizabeth was appointed Secretary of State at the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs in July 2014. In addition to implementing reform at Defra, she has championed British food and farming, rural productivity and enhancing environmental protection. Before joining Defra Elizabeth was Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Education and Childcare at the Department for Education from September 2012 to July 2014. Her ministerial responsibilities included the school curriculum, qualifications and early years.Elizabeth was elected as the Conservative MP for South West Norfolk in 2010. Prior to entering Parliament, Elizabeth was deputy director of the think-tank Reform and also worked in the energy and telecommunications industry for ten years. She is a qualified management accountant.Brought up in Yorkshire, Elizabeth was educated at Roundhay School in Leeds before going on to read Philosophy, Politics and Economics at Merton College, Oxford University.  Elizabeth is married with two daughters.

James Walker

James Walker

James has been awarded a remote Area Planning and Development excellence award for Sustainability for development with Wakefield Station a 62,000-acre sheep and cattle station in Outback Queensland. In 2012 he was awarded a Nuffield scholarship recognising his leadership potential for industry and agriculture at large. Now residing at 'Camden Park' Station, Longreach, James founded Agrihive.com in 2014 to improve opportunities and create new possibilities for farming and agriculture; and in 2015 was chosen to attend the Challenge of Rural Leadership in the UK after founding the "Big Night Outback" - CEO Business Summit.

He invented the Kidworth Case Study Competition Series, and helped initiate the CEO Dairy Business Summit and Kidworth UK Dairy Case Study Competition launched in the UK in November. James was invited to host the second CEO Outback Business Summit on 'Plugin Capital at the Farm Gate' at Queensland's Parliament in November. Agrihive is now expanding further internationally, tasking change through disruptive innovation and actioning ideas with digital tools and initiatives. He has recently been awarded An Adjunct Industry Fellow from the Australia Centre for Sustainable Business and Development and hosted the Australian Prime Minister at his home to discuss Agribusiness and rural resilience.

James is passionate about improving decision making information provided on farm through collaboration. This will go towards improving food quality, production and performance for farmers and agriculture globally and most importantly sustainably through knowledge transfer.

Tackling crises points in global agriculture

James Walker Paper