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 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

Coaches depart from Examination Schools at 19.40




Thursday 3rd January, 2019

Barclays Bank Breakfast

Room 9

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

Food & Faith Fringe

University College Chapel

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.


How do we get the commercial advantage for UK Agriculture PLC?

  • What are the opportunities and how do we get access?            
  • Know your customer and how this impacts marketing.              
  • The world means business – the how and why it works well - Industry business example/case study. 


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 - the Government's plan for British farming, presented by the Defra Secretary of State Rt Hon Michael Gove.

This will be followed by a panel session which will bring the Secretary of State into discussion with his opposition counterpart David Drew MP 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


Inspirational Journey

A Personal Perspective from Nyasha Mudukuti, Zimbabwe farmer, who 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.


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 


The floating farm and why it is the future of dairy farming in the Netherlands

Minke van Wingerden, Beladon, The Netherlands


Sponsored by Corteva Agriscience



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

HRH The Princess Royal
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

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

Seconder: Tom Lancaster, Principal Policy Officer for agriculture, RSPB


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 with George Eustice MP, Minister of State, Environment, Food and Rural Affairs and Barry Gardiner MP, Shadow Secretary of State for International Trade & Climate Change.

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
Personal Perspective

Artificial intelligence on our farms

Dr Matthew Smith, Business Development Director for Microsoft UK


Sponsored by BBSRC

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.


Why gene editing matters:

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

Brian Barker, AHDB Strategic farmer, Suffolk


An answer to antimicrobial resistance:

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

North School

Sponsored by AHDB

Emerging Leaders’ and Scholars' Final Workshop

Sponsored by BASF

Scholars Workshop

Sponsored by McDonald's

Oxtail Dinner

Worcester College 



OFC25 will take place from 8th to 10th January 2025, in Oxford and Online.

A programme teaser and tickets are now available by visiting our dedicated conference section.