The Oxford Farming conference

Wednesday 2nd January, 2019


Emerging Leaders' and Scholars' Training Workshop


Emerging Leaders' Lunch Reception

Sponsored by BASF


Registration Opens


Scholars' Reception

Sponsored by McDonald's


Oxford Farming Conference AGM

East School


Fringe Events

A range of drop-in talks focusing on knowledge exchange with industry leaders plus tea and coffee


The future of land tenure in a new agricultural era 

A wide ranging discussion with NFU Vice President Stuart Roberts and a panel of farmers on how tenanted farming can survive and thrive the transition into a new UK agricultural policy.


Will there be a next generation?

Focus on the needs, challenges and aspirations of young farming and rural people and will include research findings from NFYFC and the Rural Youth Project (RYP). The hosts will also outline current work regarding future plans. This event is for anyone, of any age, interested in the future of young people in our farming and rural economies. Sponsored by Kuhn.


Intelligent Agriculture at Sainsbury’s

Utilising data across the agriculture supply chain to unlock insight driving continuous improvement.


Innovative Farmers' Event

Save New Year’s resolutions for one more day and join The Great Cider Debate to taste and discuss all things cider.




Anna Hill, Farming Today
The event is open to all and timed to fit alongside both Oxford Farming and Oxford Real Farming Conferences. It will be held in St Edmund Hall, a 7-minute walk from Oxford Town Hall, 2 minutes from the Examination Schools. It is free to attend but please book your place when you are booking your ticket.


The Arysta Pre-Conference Drinks Reception

North School


Sponsored by Arysta


Pre-Conference Dinners

Choose from one of two optional dinners in one of the university’s beautiful and ancient colleges:

The Arysta Conference Dinner at Exeter College, or new for 2019, the TAP Social Dinner (casual) in association with Syngenta – great food, great music and fabulous beer. Transport provided.


Please select at time of booking



Thursday 3rd January, 2019


Food & Faith Fringe

University College Chapel


Barclays Bank Breakfast

Room 9

Join us for coffee and a breakfast roll at our Barclays Bank networking event


Fringe Events

A range of drop-in talks from industry-leading organisations:


The Future of Farm Trading

Doug Bairner, CEO of Hectare Agritech (owners of SellMyLIvestock and Graindex), will host a panel discussion on the future of farm trading, featuring some of the industry’s most forward-thinkers.



Farming, making money from the newest crop – farm data

Farms generate a huge amount of data and this volume is growing exponentially. This presentation and discussion will explore business models where farmers can be properly rewarded for contributing farm data in a secure and permissioned environment.  


Coffee and tea break

Room 7 and 8


Conference start

Take your seats in South and East Schools



Conference Welcome

with conference chairman Tom Allen-Stevens


Politics Briefing

The headlining political briefing will challenge the latest developments of the proposed British Agricultural Policy, presented by the Defra Secretary of State.


This will be followed by a panel session which will bring the Secretary of State into discussion with his opposition counterpart and NFU President Minette Batters. Head of Research at Shore Capital, N Ireland, Dr Clive Black will join what promises to be a fascinating and enlightening discussion.


Sponsored by Fendt



Personal Perspective

A Young Woman’s Inspirational Journey

Nyasha Mudukuti, Zimbabwe farmer, wants her nation to see the importance of biotechnology in agriculture and use it to improve the livelihoods of smallholder farmers.


Sponsored by M&S


Frank Parkinson Lecture

Disruptive Innovations and the Communications Challenge

Julie Borlaug, VP for Communications at Inari Agriculture, continues her grandfather Norman Borlaug’s work to end hunger and eliminate poverty. She will be talking about successful collaborative partnerships between the public and private sectors to ensure the advancement of innovation and technology in agriculture.

Sponsored by The Frank Parkinson Trust


North School, Rooms 7, 8, 9 and 14-15 

Sponsored by Openfield

Session 2: Future Farmers

Farmers share their stories and opportunities in alternative incomes.


Deer as part of an integrated livestock system

Matt Smith, Trefranck Farm, Cornwall, UK


Growing a global market from seedlings

Stijn Baan, Koppert Cress, Netherlands


Rewilding the farming business

Sir Charlie Burrell, Knepp Castle Estate, W Sussex, UK 


Sponsored by Corteva




Science Lecture

Putting Science Back into Policy

with former Government Chief Scientific Adviser (GCSA), Professor Sir Mark Walport, now Chief Executive of the newly formed UK Research and Innovation (UKRI).


Sponsored by Burges Salmon


Closing remarks


BBSRC Innovation Hub

An exciting opportunity to get up-close with the latest agricultural research from around the country. Learn about BBSRC’s investment in world-class bioscience research, and how it could help your business adapt to change. 


North School


Sponsored by BBSRC


VIP Reception

Rooms 14-15


Chairman's Drinks Reception

Room 7


Sponsored by McDonald's


Oxford Union Debate

Stimulating debate in an historic seat of learning.

Motion: This house believes the country would be better served if farmers focused on profits rather than public goods

Proposer: Guy Smith, NFU Deputy President

Seconder: Sarah Bell, consultant and mixed farmer


Opposer: Hilary McGrady, Director-General of the National Trust


Sponsored by Savills, Thrings, Ellacotts


Post-Debate Supper

Christ Church


Sponsored by Savills, Thrings and Ellacotts

Friday 4th January, 2019


The Prince's Countryside Fund Breakfast

Room 9

Join us for coffee and a breakfast roll at our Prince’s Countryside Fund networking event


Conference resumes

Take your seats in South and East Schools


Session 3: The World Beyond Brexit

A positive session with politicians about how to take advantage of Brexit, focused on trade and finding a competitive advantage.

Followed by discussion with Sir Lockwood Smith, ex-New Zealand Trade Minister, Claire Urry, Executive Director, China-Britain Business Council and Mark Clark, Managing Director, Grampian Growers Ltd, Montrose. 


Sponsored by Openfield


Personal Perspectives

A View from The City 
Sir Ian Cheshire, Chairman Barclays Bank UK


The Radical Alternative for British Agriculture 
Caroline Lucas, former leader The Green Party


Sponsored by M&S


Coffee Break


Session 4: A World of Innovation

A focus on some of the world's most spectacular innovations in food and farming, their impact on the world, and the barriers to acceptance and how to overcome those.


Dr Matthew Smith, Business Development Director for Microsoft UK

Prof Cristobal Uauy, Project Leader in wheat genetics and genomics at John Innes Centre

Brian Barker, AHDB Strategic farmer, Suffolk

Prof Brendan Gilmore, Chair of Pharmaceutical Microbiology at Queens Uni Belfast

Dr Kate Pressland, Programme Manager for Innovative Farmers


Sponsored by BBSRC


Closing remarks


Taste and Flavour of a World of Opportunity

A cooking demonstration of some of the products UK producers export to places around the world. 


Sponsored by AHDB


World of Opportunity Celebration Lunch

Taste some of the UK’s leading export opportunities and explore the flavour of global markets


Sponsored by AHDB


Emerging Leaders’ and Scholars' Final Workshop


Alumni G&T


Oxtail Dinner

Worcester College