Evening Conference At Three Counties Farming Conference

Chaired by local farmer and BBC Countryfile Presenter Adam Henson, and starting at 18.30 this year's conference will discuss - Post Brexit Opportunities - planning ahead for the future of food and farming. 

There are great changes on the horizon for the farming industry, no-one really knows how things will pan out at the moment, but there will be opportunities.

The introduction of tariffs by the United States of America will no doubt trigger unheralded response from the rest of the world, and the deteriorating relationship with Russia will add to general uncertainty in Europe.

Brexit brings further uncertainty, but it will also bring opportunity. History has shown that when the New Zealand government scrapped farm subsidies in the 1980’s there was initially a lot of pain, but eventually things turned around as we heard at last year’s Farming Conference.

Join us and hear from our highly experienced panel of speakers who are well placed to consider these opportunities and discuss the areas of growth for the agricultural industry.

Unfortunately David Drew MP is no longer able to attend the conference.

Please note a hot buffet will be served from 17.00 before the Evening Debate. 

Expert Speakers

Minette Batters

NFU President

Minette runs a tenanted family farm in Wiltshire. The mixed farming business includes a 100 cow continental cross suckler herd, and a small herd of pedigree Herefords as well as sheep and arable. Diversification includes the conversion of a 17th Century tythe barn into a wedding and corporate events venue, and horse liveries. Minette co-founded the campaigning initiatives 'Ladies in Beef' and the 'Great British Beef Week'.

She has been an NFU member from grassroots through to County Chairman; she served as Wiltshire’s Council delegate and also as Regional Board Chairman for the South West. Minette has also been a member of NFU Governance Board and served as NFU deputy president for four years from 2014 to 2018. Minette is also a Trustee of Farm Africa.

Minette Batters Minette Batters NFU President

Liz Bowles

Head of Farming, Soil Association

Liz is Head of Farming at the Soil Association and is responsible for leading and managing the Soil Associations work with farmers throughout the UK in conjunction with the Producer Support Team. The Producer Support Team work includes supporting Soil Association licensees, managing the Innovative Farmers Programme, implementation of development plans for organic agriculture in the UK and supporting organic supply chain development.

Liz has a wealth of experience of agriculture both in the UK and internationally. She has worked in the sector for over 30 years and brings a practical approach combined with scientific and sector knowledge to her role in the Soil Association.

As a Nuffield scholar, her research involved exploring co operation in the red meat sector and was a precursor to her joining EFFP where she worked on the development of supply chain collaboration in England. Liz started her career in Agriculture with ADAS where she worked in a number of roles for 20 years before joining EFFP.

Liz is a Director of the Farm Carbon Cutting Toolkit, a farmer-controlled business which supports farmers in understanding how to cut their emissions and sequester carbon on farm. She also advises Hectare, an online trading platform for farmers selling livestock and grain.

Liz Bowles Liz Bowles Head of Farming, Soil Association

Neil Parish

Member of Parliment

Neil Parish has been the Member of Parliament for Tiverton and Honiton in Devon since 2010.

He has served continuously on the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Select Committee since he was first elected, and as of 2015 was elected Chair of the Committee. As a farmer before entering politics, Neil has focused on supporting farmers and the food industry, improving air quality, protecting the environment and promoting animal welfare.

Before entering Parliament, Neil was an MEP representing the South West and Gibraltar. In the European Parliament, in line with his farming roots, Neil chaired the ENVI Committee. Prior to this, he was a dairy farmer and local councillor.

Neil Parish Neil Parish Member of Parliment