The Oxford Farming Conference

OFC Tickets

OFC Tickets

OFC2023 - 4 to 6 January - Oxford & Online

In-person tickets, to join us in Oxford, will close on 16 December 2022.

Digital tickets, to watch online, will close on 2 January 2023.

To book your seat, click here
Bella Bathurst

Bella Bathurst


Bella Bathurst is a writer and furniture-maker.  She grew up in London, Scotland and the Forest of Dean and is the award-winning author of, among other books, The Lighthouse Stevensons and Sound.

Like many people, she had spent much of her life around farming but never as part of it, until nine years ago she moved from Lanarkshire to a farm cottage in the Welsh Marches.  It was while there that she was struck by the fact that while everyone was talking about farming, no-one ever seemed to talk about - or to - farmers. 

She set out to understand why this profession was so utterly different to all others, what made a good farmer, and if it really was true you had to be born to it.  The result was Field Work: What Land Does to People and What People Do To Land, published 18 months ago.  The author Melissa Harrison called it, 'Exactly the book I've been longing to read about farming.  A proper behind-the-scenes look, fascinating, insightful, compassionate.'

Jamie Butler

Jamie Butler

Farmer, Meon Springs

Jamie Butler is a Hampshire farmer, having a diversified farming life in a beautiful valley beneath the South Downs.  The farm’s most recent project has been developing a wetland to improve water quality and offer nitrate credits to developers, who require mitigation to build houses in The Solent region.

This has been challenging, fulfilling and stretching for a number of reasons.  

Challenging in getting the planning, the consents, the legal agreements and the finance.  

Fulfilling in watching the development of a beautiful wild area, whilst improving water quality for the whole river downstream.  

Stretching in seeing the bigger picture and not only focusing on the wetland area but also looking to the whole farm to improve water quality and groundwater recharge hence our strapline for the project – “The Valley is the Wetland"

Jane Davidson

Jane Davidson

Author & Pro Vice-Chancellor Emeritus, University of Wales Trinity Saint David

Jane Davidson is the author of #futuregen: Lessons from a Small Country and passionate about living lightly.

She is Pro Vice-Chancellor Emeritus at the University of Wales Trinity Saint David and Patron of the UK Chartered Institute of Ecologists and Environmental Managers.

From 2000 - 2011, she was Cabinet Minister for Education, then Environment and Sustainability in Wales where she proposed legislation to make sustainability the central organising principle of government: the Wellbeing of Future Generations (Wales) Act came into law in 2015.

She is a RSA Fellow and guest faculty on the Executive Education for Sustainability Leadership programme at Harvard University's T.H. Chan School of Public Health.

Linda France

Linda France


Linda France won Simon Armitage's Laurel Prize for the best collection of nature and environmental poetry published in 2022 with her book The Knucklebone Floor (Smokestack 2022), set at the National Trust site Allen Banks in Northumberland.

She won the Poetry Society's National Poetry Competition in 2013 and has received a Society of Authors' Cholmondeley Award for her contribution to poetry. In 2020-2022.

Linda was the UK's first Climate Writer in Residence, with New Writing North and Newcastle University, resulting in – as well as notable collective projects, collaborations and workshops – her latest collection Startling (Faber & New Writing North 2022).

She lives in rural Northumberland, near Hadrian's Wall.

Sir Charles Godfray

Sir Charles Godfray

Professor of Population Biology and Director, Oxford Martin School

Sir Charles Godfray is a population biologist with broad interests in science and the interplay of science and policy.  He has spent his career at Oxford University and Imperial College and is currently Professor of Population Biology and Director of the Oxford Martin School at Oxford. 

His research has involved experimental and theoretical studies in population and community ecology, epidemiology and evolutionary biology.  His two main current research projects are the control of malaria vectoring mosquitoes using novel genetic interventions, and the health, environmental and economic consequences of changing patterns of consumption of meat and dairy. 

He is particularly interested in food security and chaired the Lead Expert Group of the UK Government Office of Science’s Foresight project on the Future of Food and Farming and until recently chaired Defra’s Science Advisory Council. 

He has also chaired a review for Defra of England’s bovine TB control strategy.  He was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society in 2001 and knighted in 2017.  He has joint UK and New Zealand citizenship, and his mother’s-side family are dairy farmers in the South Island of New Zealand.

Salih Hodzhov

Salih Hodzhov

COO, WB Chambers Farms Ltd

Salih has 20 years of experience in farming. After his graduation from Shumen University in Bulgaria, Salih occupied multiple positions in WB Chambers Farms Ltd starting from 2001. He worked as a Fruit Picker, Tunnel Manager, and Farm Manager.

Since 2018, Salih is occupying the role of Production and Operations Director and as of 2021 the role of Chief Operation Officer.

He also works closely with Chambers’ partner growers in Spain, Morocco, and Mexico enabling the business to achieve its impressive scale of commercial fruit production.

Salih is a past member of the AHDB soft fruit panel and BASIS and FACTS qualified professional.


Kate Hofman

Kate Hofman

Founder and Brand Director, GrowUp Farms

Kate Hofman founded GrowUp Farms almost a decade ago, starting with a greenhouse on top of a shipping container and cycling across London at 5am to deliver their salads into Borough Market.

She has an MSc in Environmental Technology & Business from Imperial College, where she discovered vertical farming.

Two years late, the business developed and purchased an electric van, selling salads and leafy greens to shops and restaurants across the city. Their core objective was and continues to be, to make sustainable food accessible to more people - fantastic quality salad, at an affordable price, and still meet the highest standards for environmental and social sustainability.

After more than 9 years on their never-ending quest for the perfect leaves, their 4th farm, Pepperness, in Kent is bringing their tastier, longer-lasting salad to the supermarket shelf at everyday prices. The farm, previously a disused brownfield site, now offers the equivalent of 1,000 acres of Grade 1 farmland.



Chris Jones

Chris Jones

Woodland Valley Farm and Beaver Trust

Chris Jones is a native of Cornwall and has lived at Woodland Valley Farm on and off for 62 years.

While off he has been a police officer in Central Africa, a forester in South West England, an Army Reserve Officer and has worked in the oil industry. Latterly he helped establish Beaver Trust, and still consults for that organisation.

While on he has with his wife Janet changed the farm from a conventional livestock farm, through a disastrous foray into industrial production of daffodils into an organic mixed farm and eventually into a pasture-only farm, designed to be a net carbon sequestrator.

Throughout his life there is a theme of environmentalism which has grown quite briskly in the 21st Century, helping to establish Transition Ladock and Grampound Road and Low Carbon Ladock, a community-owned renewable energy coop.

He also established the Cornwall Beaver Project, in 2014, and has hosted a family of beavers at Woodland Valley since 2017. The farm is now a thoroughly diversified business incorporating renewable energy, grazing cattle, education, tourism and events, all of which depend on the land and its condition.

Kyle Lischak

Kyle Lischak

Head of UK, ClientEarth

Kyle Lischak is an internationally qualified and experienced lawyer with over twenty years of experience in the private, non-profit and government sectors.

He is now focusing on the practice of environmental law at the legal charity ClientEarth, where he pursues a special focus on promoting sustainable agriculture in the UK through research and advocacy.


JoJo Mehta

JoJo Mehta

Executive Director and Co-Founder, Stop Ecocide International

Jojo is Executive Director and key spokeswoman at global advocacy organization Stop Ecocide International, which she co-founded in 2017 with barrister and legal pioneer the late Polly Higgins. Its work supports the establishment of ecocide as a crime at the International Criminal Court, as a preventive global legal framework to protect nature, climate and our common future.  

She has overseen the remarkable growth of the movement (which now has representation in over 40 countries and websites in 9 languages) while coordinating between legal developments, diplomatic traction and public narrative.

Jojo has contributed to law conferences, diplomatic events, environmental summits and climate rallies as well as podcasts, interviews and articles for publications and broadcasters ranging from TIME Magazine to the New York Times and from The Guardian to the BBC. She is also Chair of the charitable Stop Ecocide Foundation.

She holds a First Class honours in Modern Languages from Oxford University, and a Masters in Anthropology from Goldsmiths, London. 

Jacqueline McGlade

Jacqueline McGlade

Co-Founder and Chief Scientific Officer, Downforce Technologies

Jacqueline McGlade FLS, FRSA is Co-Founder and Chief Scientific Officer at Downforce Technologies, and Professor of Public Policy and Natural Prosperity at University College London UK and Strathmore University in Kenya.

Previously she was the UN Environment Program’s Chief Scientist and former Executive Director of the European Environment Agency.

Her expertise is in nature-based solutions to food security and climate adaptation and mitigation, marine plastics and oceans health, the circular bioeconomy, natural capital modelling, and intergenerational prosperity.

She is an advisor to the European and UK Space Agencies and has designed geospatial, fuzzy logic and AI applications such as Flood Ranger and SimCoast for decision-making under high degrees of uncertainty.

Lesley Mitchell

Lesley Mitchell

Associate Director for Sustainable Nutrition, Forum for the Future

Lesley Mitchell is Forum for the Future’s Associate Director for Sustainable Nutrition. She leads Forum’s global work on food, with an expert team covering innovative topics including the future of protein, sustainable animal feed and regenerative agriculture.

After a biological sciences PhD at Oxford University, Lesley’s career has focused on working with NGOs to enable transformative change on sustainable food and farming across the food industry and international policy sectors, from the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation to international animal welfare NGOs and with meat and dairy farmers in Latin America, China and Europe.

She has helped shape UN policy recommendations on livestock, animal welfare and food security, and worked with major multi-stakeholder processes including the Global Roundtable for Sustainable Beef and Global Agenda for Sustainable Livestock.

OFC23 Report Launch Presentation

OFC 2023 Report Launch

Danielle Nierenberg

Danielle Nierenberg

President, Food Tank

Danielle Nierenberg is a world-renowned researcher, speaker, and advocate, on all issues relating to our food system and agriculture. Danielle is President of Food Tank and an expert on sustainable agriculture and food issues.

She has written extensively on gender and population, the spread offactory farming in the developing world, and innovations in sustainable agriculture.

She founded Food Tank, a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, with Bernard Pollack in 2013 to build a global community for safe, healthy, nourished eaters. The organization has more than 250 major institutional partners including The  Rockefeller Foundation, the Chicago Council on Global Affairs, the Christensen Fund, IFPRI, IFAD, Oxfam America, Slow Food USA, U.N. FAO, the Crop Trust, the Sustainable Food Trust, and academic institutions in all 50 states.

Food Tank highlights hope, success, and innovative ideas in our food system through original daily publications, research articles, a chart-topping podcast, interviews, and events and Summits in major cities around the world.

Prior to starting Food Tank, Danielle spent two years traveling to more than 35 countries across sub-Saharan Africa, Asia, and Latin America, meeting with hundreds of farmers and farmers’ groups, scientists and researchers, policymakers and government leaders, students and academics, and journalists, documenting what is working to help alleviate hunger and poverty, while protecting the environment.

Danielle is the recipient of the 2020 Julia Child Award.

Mary Quicke

Mary Quicke

CEO, Quicke’s Traditional Ltd

Mary Quicke MBE DL is CEO of Quicke’s Traditional Ltd, an award-winning, integrated cheesemaking and farming family business.

They produce 250t of traditional clothbound cheese/year, as well as rearing 690 crossbred cows, pasture-based, in 2 calving blocks. 

She is the founder of the Academy of Cheese, a certification scheme whose aim is that cheese sold for value not price. She is also co-founder of the Maize Growers Association, a Judge at various cheese competitions, including the American Cheese Society, and was a Food Standard Agency Board Member from 2017 to 2022.

Since 2017, Mary has sat as an Agricultural and Horticultural Development Board Dairy Sector Council Member, and has just concluded her term as Chairman of Council for Devon County Agricultural Association (2015-2022).

Their business purpose: World-class cheese sold world class around the world with excellence in farming. 

Personal purpose: We are all inspired by our connection to food and farming.

Abi Reader

Abi Reader

Farmer & Deputy President, NFU Cymru

Abi Reader is a 3rd generation farmer working with family on their 700acre dairy, sheep, beef and arable farm, just outside Cardiff in South Wales.

She is a graduate and post-graduate from the Royal Agricultural University, Deputy President of NFU Cymru, Chair of CHeCS and the 2019 winner of the Farmers Weekly Farming Champion Award. She has an MBE for Services to Farming.

Abi is a co-founder of CowsOnTour, a voluntary initiative that visits schools to Tell The Farming Story, and is a proud LEAF Open Farm Sunday Host Farm.

There are a number of ongoing projects and trials on the family farm, most recently a Wales Enferplex TB pilot and also an Agroforestry Pilot in collaboration with Sida Agroforestry and The Woodland Trust. 


Baroness Kate Rock

Baroness Kate Rock

Member, House of Lords and Farmer

Baroness Kate Rock chaired The Rock Review into the agricultural tenanted sector which was commissioned by the Defra Secretary of State and published in October 2022. Half of England’s agricultural land has a tenant farmer as its steward. In order to produce quality food, and sequester carbon, and restore wildlife, it is essential that the incentives to do this are accessible to tenant farmers. The Rock Review, built on solid evidence and extensive consultation, sets out clearly how this can be done.

Kate is a director of a tenant farming enterprise in Dorset. She is also chair of the infrastructure business Costain plc and the senior independent director of the geo-technical specialist contractor Keller Group plc.

Kate is a member of the House of Lords where she regularly contributes on agricultural and rural economy matters.


Baroness Kate Rock - Speech

Speech - Baroness Kate Rock

Beccy Speight

Beccy Speight

Chief Executive, RSPB

Beccy Speight became the RSPB’s Chief Executive in August 2019, having previously held the same position at the Woodland Trust.

Prior to the Woodland Trust Beccy worked for the National Trust for 14 years, initially as general manager of the Stourhead Estate, then as director for its East Midlands and Midlands regions from 2005.  

Previously, Beccy was responsible for leading and championing the National Trust’s work on its sustainable food agenda and she chaired the Food for Life Catering Mark Standards Committee for the Soil Association. She also contributed to national steering groups on contemporary art in the National Trust, its work in the outdoors and engaging urban communities. 

Sally-Ann Spence

Sally-Ann Spence

Entomologist/Farmer, Dung Beetles for Farmers

Sally-Ann Spence is a Fellow of both the Royal Entomological Society and the Linnaean Society and an Honorary Associate at the Oxford University Museum of Natural History.

She specialises in science communication covering a variety of subjects including natural history, archaeology and science. Her research work with dung beetles and pastureland biodiversity led her to found the UK Dung Beetle Mapping Project accumulating species data.

Sally-Ann’s work with the project has seen her surveying field sites all over the UK including many outlying islands enabling her to study a multitude of grazing systems. This practical experience has been translated into many collaborative projects working on sustainable land management plans within the farming community to promote dung beetles as important bio-indicators for soil, pasture and livestock health.

Sally-Ann is also a founding member of Dung Beetles for Farmers which was formed to continue the awareness of this insect group and highlight their conservation.

She also owns and runs an educational research centre ‘Berrycroft Hub’ based on her home farm. Here she keeps PFLA accredited livestock and manages the grassland in a variety of systems. As a passionate advocate of sustainability and biodiversity, Sally-Ann does a great deal of scientific public outreach both at her centre on the farm, at various events and on all media platforms including television.


Sir Tim Smit

Sir Tim Smit

Executive Chair and Co-founder, Eden Project

Sir Tim Smit read Archaeology and Anthropology at Durham University. This began a lifelong passion for regeneration and working to put things into good heart. Following occupations embracing his many interests from Archaeology through music to wreck diving, Rare Breed animal husbandry and building restoration, in 1990 He ‘discovered’ and then restored ‘The Lost Gardens of Heligan’ with John Nelson. Of which he remains a Director. This is now one of the UK’s best loved gardens having been named ‘Garden of the Year’ by BBC Countryfile Awards (Mar 2018).  Tim’s book ‘The Lost Gardens of Heligan’ won Book of the Year in 1997.

Tim is today Executive Vice-Chair and Co-founder of the multi award-winning Eden Project in Cornwall. Since its opening in 2001, over 22 million people have come to see a once sterile pit, turned into a cradle of life containing world-class horticulture and startling architecture symbolic of human endeavour and our dependence and unbreakable part in the systems of the natural world. 

Daniel Zeichner

Daniel Zeichner

Shadow Minister for Farming, Food, Fisheries and Rural Affairs

Daniel Zeichner was elected to Parliament as MP for Cambridge in May 2015, and has been serving on the Labour frontbench as Shadow Minister for  Farming, Food, Fisheries and Rural Affairs for the last three years.

He previously served as Shadow Transport Minister from September 2015 – 2017, and was a member of the Transport Select Committee from September 2017 – November 2019.

Daniel founded and chairs the All Party Parliamentary Group on Data Analytics, is chair of the All Party Parliamentary University Group and the All Party Parliamentary Group for Life Sciences, and is Co-Chair of the All Party Parliamentary Group for the East of England among others.

Daniel has a History degree from the University of Cambridge, and on leaving university ran a small nursery with his partner in rural Norfolk before embarking on a career in computer programming.

While living in Norfolk Daniel served as both a Parish and rural District Councilor.



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.