The Oxford Farming Conference

Friday 1st September, 2023

09:00
TICKETS NOW ON SALE

2024 Logo

OFC2024 - 3 to 5 January  - Oxford & Online

In-person and digital tickets now on sale

To book your seat, click here

Wednesday 3rd January, 2024

12:30
Inspire Programme Gathering

This event is only for the 2024 OFC Inspire Cohort, and will run from 12:00 to 13:30 at the Examination Schools, Room 11.

12:31
Scholars Leadership Training

This event is only for the 2024 OFC Scholar Cohort including the Breaking Barriers, and will run from 12:00 to 14:30 at the Examination Schools - Room 9.

17:00
OFC Partnership Event: BASF

The biggest challenge facing today’s society is building resilience in the face of a continuously changing climate. Farmers are facing the brunt of extreme weather events and global warming could cause a 30% reduction in food production worldwide. This does not change the fact that an ever-growing population needs to be fed and we must find ways to build a more resilient food production system.

Join BASF at the Oxford Natural History Museum for OFC's first partner session of 2024 - a panel session hearing from farmers trialling novel interventions to tackle the effects of climate change and hear a global perspective of the agriculture industry as we look to future proof our food security and care for the natural environment. In keeping with the conference theme of diversity, speakers will share unique insights from different locations, soil types and farming philosophies.

Joining the panel will be:

•    Mary Boote, Chief Executive Officer, Global Farmer Network
•    William Pitts, second generation farmer in Mears Ashby Northamptonshire & founder of Project Fortress, farming on handslope clay
•    Hannah Darby, forth generation farmer near Huntingdon, farming primarily on the Fen with black organic soil
•    Martin Andersson, eight generation farmer, farming a wide rotation in Skåne, Sweden

This session will run from 17:00 to 19:00 at the Oxford University Museum of Natural History followed by an opportunity to network with panellists and guests. Refreshments will be provided.

There are limited tickets for this session so we encourage pre-booking. If you have already booked your main conference ticket, log back in to your ticket and add this to your booking via your member portal. Click here to amend booking.

18:15
Fieldwork Book Club, in partnership with OFC

Hosted by Adam Bedford, Projects Director. Authors: Rebecca Smith, Author and Anna Jones, Rural Affairs Journalist. This session will run from 18:15 to 19:15 at the Oxford University Museum of Natural History.

There are limited tickets for this session which will be available to book from mid-October via the OFC booking site (if you have already booked your main conference ticket, there will be an option to log back in and add this to your booking via your member portal). 

 

19:00
Chair's Welcome Reception

OFC24 Chairman, Will Evans, officially opens the conference during this special reception at the Oxford University Museum of Natural History. A complimentary drink and light nibbles will be available and, for 2024, this event is included in the conference ticket.

This reception is included in your main conference ticket, but space is limited so we do ask that you book a place. If you have already booked your main conference ticket, there is an option to log back in and add this to your booking via your member portal. A link can also be found in your booking confirmation.

This event will run from 19:00 to 20:00

21:00
OFC and Agrespect Joint Social Evening

An informal social, hosted by OFC in partnership with Agrespect, delegates are invited to meet at All Bar One to enjoy an evening catching-up with friends. Space is limited so please see note below.

This event will run from 21:00 to 23:00, and you will be required to show your OFC badge to gain access. Space is limited and will be on a first-come basis.

Please note, whilst the bar will be open, All Bar One will not be serving food during the evening.

Thursday 4th January, 2024

07:00
The Mike Potter Memorial Run

A gentle run enjoying some of the streets of OFC, with runners meeting at the entrance of the Examination Schools. Led by Projects Director Adam Bedford and OFC Director Sheena Horner.

07:15
OFC Registration Opens

Registration will open at the Examination Schools

07:30
Morning Prayers

Hosted at the University College Chapel from 7:30 to 8:00

07:45
OFC Partnership Event breakfast available
08:00
OFC Partnership Event: AgriTech Breakfast Event

Come and hear about the latest developments in agricultural innovation from the Agri-Tech Centres’ expert team. To be held in Room 11. 

There are limited tickets for this session so we encourage pre-booking. If you have already booked your main conference ticket, log back in to your ticket and add this to your booking via your member portal. Click here to amend booking.

08:00
OFC Partnership Event: Lantra Breakfast Event

This session will cover research which has been undertaken by Lantra to understand the barriers to farm businesses hiring apprentices. It will include recommendations for farm businesses, industry and policymakers, with the aim of apprenticeships being a key pillar in a new entrants strategy for the industry. To be held in Room 7.

Speakers:   

  • David Llewellyn, Lantra Chair  
  • Corrina Urquhart, Director of External Relations (Lantra)

There are limited tickets for this session so we encourage pre-booking. If you have already booked your main conference ticket, log back in to your ticket and add this to your booking via your member portal. Click here to amend booking.

08:00
OFC Partnership Event: NIAB Breakfast Event

As we face the challenges of climate change and growing crops that are healthier, environmentally friendlier and profitable, can we sustainably intensify the way we produce food? The technologies and strategies behind regenerative farming stand at the intersection of these challenges. But there is a need to provide the science to scale-up and underpin its credibility. To be held in Room 9.

This session will discuss NIAB’s vision of regenerative farming; that it shares with sustainable intensification and precision agriculture the aim of optimising productivity – producing more from less – while at the same time protecting and improving the condition of the land and surrounding environment.

Speakers:   

  • Professor Mario Caccamo – CEO, NIAB  
  • Dr Elizabeth Stockdale, Head of Farming Systems, NIAB  
  • Dr Juno McKee, Director of Ventures, NIAB  
  • TBC - Antony Yousefian, VP Climate and Circularity, Wilmot

There are limited tickets for this session so we encourage pre-booking. If you have already booked your main conference ticket, log back into your ticket and add this to your booking via your member portal. Click here to amend booking.

08:15
Tea and coffee available

To be held in North School and 1st Square

09:00
Take seats for the start of the conference

OFC24 Chairman Will Evans opens the conference. Please note, that doors to the main auditorium will close promptly and not open again until the break, so please try to be seated by 9am. Our business lounge is open for anyone who arrives after the doors have closed and hosts a live stream. This area can also be used for anyone who wishes to work while the conference is running. South an East Schools.

09:15
Welcome and Introductions to the Business and Politics session

South and East Schools

09:20
OFC 2024 Report Launch: "Is the UK supply chain broken?"

Author: Ged Futter, Retail Consultant and Report Author. Panel:Chris Brown, Senior Director, Robert Chapman, Farmer Robert and Tom Bradshaw, Deputy President NFU.

The OFC report is presented, looking at the diversity of supply chain

 

10:10
Politics Session

The renowned OFC Politics session will bring together discussion and debate for the year ahead. Address from Secretary of State, Steve Barclay. Followed by Panel Discussion with Shadow Secretary of State for Environment Steve Reed, Farmer and Policy Advisor, Stuart Roberts and Party leader Caroline van der Plas.

11:15
Networking Break

The conference breaks for 30-minutes to stretch legs, grab a coffee and natter with fellow delegates. North School and Rooms 7, 8, 9.

11:45
Food Innovation and Opportunities

A panel will explore innovations and opportunities to produce and supply food, for a diverse population and to provide a sustainable farming business. Speakers: Consultant Andy Richardson, Consultant, Awal Fuseini, Senior Halal Sector Manager and Emma Niven, Entrepreneur & Inspirational Director Loch Leven's Larder.

12:30
Lunch & Networking

From 12:30-14:30 in the North School and Rooms 7, 8, 9.

13:00
OFC Partnership Event: FFCC Lunch Event

People want healthy, affordable food that doesn’t cost the earth and they don't want to sacrifice standards for low prices. They want governments and businesses to make the food system healthier, more sustainable and fairer for farmers. But how is this really going to work? Hear from innovative farmers, local leaders and food businesses who are tackling this knotty problem, with creative ways forward. To be held in Room 11.

There are limited tickets for this session so we encourage pre-booking. If you have already booked your main conference ticket, log back in to your ticket and add this to your booking via your member portal. Click here to amend booking.

13:45
Welcome Back and Introduction to Environment Session

The afternoon conference will commence promptly at 14:00 - South and East Schools. 

14:00
From Waste to Opportunity

We hear how three individuals/businesses have utilised food waste to generate opportunities for the farming and food sector. Speakers:Jim Shanks, Farmer, Vincent Doumezial, Senior Advisor, UN Global Compact and Food Director, Lloyd's Register Foundation and Emma Brown, Commercial Manager in the Fresh Produce team at FareShare. 

14:40
How Diversity Can Strengthen Farmers' Resilience in the Face of Climate Change

An international and UK perspective. Speakers: Dr Diana Onyango, Head of Technical Team at Farm Africa and Andy Cato, Co-founder at Wildfarmed.

15:15
Food and Drink, Bringing People Together

A farmer, distiller and chef share their journey of bringing people together over food and drink. Speakers: Jan McCourt, Farmer, Tom Warner, Founder of Warners Distillery Ltd and Romy Gill MBE, Chef/Author/Writer and Presenter.

15:55
The Frank Parkinson Lecture - Westmorland Family, A Story of Rural Diversification, Sarah Dunning

Sarah Dunning OBE, Chair of Westmorland Limited, shares her family story of innovation and inspiration, in this session titled "Westmorland Family - A Story of Rural Diversification"

16:30
OFC Honorary President - HRH The Princess Royal, Princess Anne

The conference closes, and delegates are invited to continue networking during our partner events.

16:40
Day One Close
16:45
OFC Partnership Event: WWF Afternoon Tea Event

WWF-UK and NatWest have published a Roadmap for Financing a Regenerative Agricultural Transition in England. This Roadmap explores how to mobilise investment for regenerative agriculture, including the roles of the supply chain, financial institutions, governments, and farmers, to effectively distribute costs and risks of the transition. This session marks the launch of the roadmap, and will be an interactive discussion of the concrete recommendations for actors along the value chain that will support farmers through the initial period of the transition. The recommendations are supported by a series of workshops, interviews and economic modelling including practical input from farmers and growers, which we will draw on in our introduction.

There are limited tickets for this session so we encourage pre-booking. If you have already booked your main conference ticket, log back in to your ticket and add this to your booking via your member portal. Click here to amend booking.

16:45
OFC Partnership Event: Map of Ag Afternoon Tea Event

Explore the future of sustainable agriculture with Map of Ag and their panel of speakers, featuring Jonathan Lane, Managing Director for ADM Agriculture, and Hugh Martineau, Technical Director of Sustainability. Facilitating this enlightening discussion is Anna Powell, Consultant at Map of Ag.  

Johnathan will discuss his experiences, including the challenges and opportunities presented, in engaging farmers to deliver a joint impact. Together, they will explore approaches to regenerative farming and their measurement and reporting. This session is your gateway to a more resilient, regenerative agricultural landscape.

There are limited tickets for this session so we encourage pre-booking. If you have already booked your main conference ticket, log back in to your ticket and add this to your booking via your member portal. Click here to amend booking.

16:45
OFC Partnership Event: Defra and Frontier Agriculture event

The DEFRA agricultural transition plan for England was launched in 2020. It sets out a bold ambition to replace the former EU subsidy regime with public payments for public goods. To date we have seen the launch of Environmental Land Management (ELM) including the Sustainable Farming Incentive (SFI) and Landscape Recovery. Alongside these we have the continuation of Countryside Stewardship where over 35,000 farmers are delivering for the environment alongside food production.

Jonathan Baker, Defra Deputy Director for the Farming and Countryside Programme will update on the current state of play with the programme and the most recent developments for ELM, looking forward to 2024-25. He will be joined by Jim Egan, Sustainable Farming Adviser for Frontier Agriculture who are hosting this session. Jim will outline the opportunities Frontier are providing to help farmers deliver the Sustainable Farming Incentive, complementing their core food production activities.

There are limited tickets for this session so we encourage pre-booking. If you have already booked your main conference ticket, log back in to your ticket and add this to your booking via your member portal. Click here to amend booking.

18:45
The OFC Oxford Union Debate

The OFC Debate is one of the highlights of the conference, hosted in the Oxford Union and with a motion selected to create plenty of discussion. 2024 motion:  "This house believes that farming for food is holding back nature recovery in protected landscapesProposing: Ben Goldsmith, Chair Conservative Environment Network and Sarah Dickins, Sustainable Economics Adviser. Opposing: Will Cockbain, Farmer and Prof. Julia Aglionby, Professor in Practice University of Cumbria.

19:45
Post-Debate Supper

Hosted in Christ Church Hall, the post-debate supper offers a special setting to end the first full day of conference. Tickets are limited and charged at £90 plus VAT for a three-course meal, including wine, and can be booked at the same time as your conference ticket, or by logging back into your member area.

Friday 5th January, 2024

07:45
OFC Partnership Event: Woodland Trust Breakfast

Join the Woodland Trust and the Nature Friendly Farming Network, for breakfast and a lively discussion on how landscape diversity will need to be a key component of a healthy, functioning farming sector in 2050. Building on the conference theme of ‘The Power of Diversity’ explore how nature-based solutions can help ensure that by 2050 we will have farming systems that deliver healthy food, a healthy environment, and a healthy society.  

Whether through agroforestry delivering environmental services and product diversity, or min tillage enhancing soil health this session will have a panel of practitioners who will share their experiences and inspire you to act

Chair:

  • Sarah Langford confirmed  

Panel:   

  • Martin Lines Arable Farmer & CEO NFFN
  • John Pawsey Organic Farmer
  • Claire Whittle – Regen Vet
  • Sam Beaumont – Livestock Farmer and NFFN Champion

There are limited tickets for this session so we encourage pre-booking. If you have already booked your main conference ticket, log back in to your ticket and add this to your booking via your member portal. Click here to amend booking.

07:45
OFC Partnership Event: AHDB Breakfast Event

The agriculture sector is under intense scientific, media and public scrutiny, negatively linked to global warming, nature decline and decreasing human health.  AHDB and ITN Business’ ‘Farming a Greener Future’ raises awareness and understanding of the importance of livestock, and its role in feeding the population sustainably. But the role of livestock goes beyond the programme’s themes, with emerging farm-based evidence, scientific advancement and scrutiny of data revealing livestock has a unique and invaluable role within society. Following a short screening of the programme, the session explores the diverse role of livestock in sustainable farming systems, nature recovery, climate action and food security

Speakers:   

  • Professor John Gilliland OBE, Environment Consultant at AHDB
  • Kate Arthur, Lead Nutritionist at AHDB
  • Amy Jackson, Reputation Communications Consultant
  • Professor Jude Capper, Harper Adams University

The session with be chaired by:

  • Mike Gooding, AHDB’s Farming Systems Director

There are limited tickets for this session so we encourage pre-booking. If you have already booked your main conference ticket, log back in to your ticket and add this to your booking via your member portal. Click here to amend booking.

07:45
OFC Partnership Event: CAAV Breakfast Event

The need for improved faming productivity together with the focus on environmental and net zero issues put great pressure of rural land, its use and occupation.  Agricultural tenancies, business arrangements and, indeed, land ownership are all under stress.  This session will look at some of the issues and ways forward.   

Speakers: 

  • Jeremy Moody, Secretary and Adviser to the CAAV

There are limited tickets for this session so we encourage pre-booking. If you have already booked your main conference ticket, log back in to your ticket and add this to your booking via your member portal. Click here to amend booking.

08:15
Tea and coffee available
09:00
Take seats for the start of the conference

OFC24 Chairman Will Evans opens the final day of the conference. Please note, that doors to the main auditorium will close promptly and not open again until the break, so please try to be seated by 9am. Our business lounge is open for anyone who arrives after the doors have closed and hosts a live stream. This area can also be used for anyone who wishes to work while the conference is running.

09:15
Welcome and Introduction to the People Session
09:20
OFC Photo Exhibition

With Bella Bathurst, Writer and Photo Journalist

09:25
Diversified Leadership - Could Farming do Better?

A panel share their experience of leadership in the agricultural sector, and how they have adapted to meet different challenges and opportunities. Speakers: Minette Batters, President National Farmers' Union, Group Finance Director at Frontier Agriculture Ltd, Diana Overton, and Prof. David Hughes.

10:05
Getting People into Agriculture - Could Diversity Fix Farming Recruitment?

Diversity of work patterns and benefits, skill sets, nationalities and geographical locations, to name a few topics, brings this Question Time style session to life. Panel: Prof. Ken Sloan, Vice-Chancellor at Harper Adams University, Donna Edmonds, CEO of the Education Farms, Rory Christie, Dairy Farmer, Vice Chair SAOS, Amie Burke, Inclusivity Programme Manager, Institute of Grocery Distribution and Nick Evans, Founder of First4Farmig and co-founder of Oxbury.

10:50
Networking break

The conference breaks for 30-minutes to stretch legs, grab a coffee and natter with fellow delegates

 

11:20
Inspiring Farmers

One of our most popular sessions each year. Speakers: Doug Wanstall, Farmer, Polly Davies, Mixed Organic Tenant Farmer and AHDB Cereals and Oilseeds Sector Council Member and David Mwanaka, Farmer and founder of Mwanaka Fresh Farm Foods.

12:10
Inclusive Farming

How do we ensure farming is inclusive for everyone, regardless of their circumstances? We close the conference with a keynote speech from Michael Duxbury, Managing Director of Inclusive Farm LTD.

12:30
Lunch & Networking

Lunch is served from 12:30 to 14:00 allowing you time to continue reflecting on the conference, and catching-up with friends.

12:30
Concluding Chair's Address

OFC24 Chairman Will Evans reflects on the conference and introduces the 2025 Chairman.