South of England Farming Conference 2021

The Role of Agriculture in Healing Society

Watch the 2021 Farming Conference:


The South of England Agricultural Society’s annual Farming Conference returned as an in-person event at the South of England Showground in Ardingly, West Sussex on Wednesday 17th November 2021 and for the first time, was also available as a live stream for those who could not physically make it.

The topic for 2021’s conference was ‘The Role of Agriculture in Healing Society’, a subject very much related to the times we are all living in. Agriculture and those who work in this sector are in a unique position – not only do farmers and growers provide the food essential for our survival, they are also custodians of the natural environment that surrounds us. And this is an environment that is crucial in terms of mitigating climate change, feeding an ever more demanding population and in more general terms, improving our overall mental and physical wellbeing.

Conference Chair Anna Hill, of BBC Radio 4 Farming Today, was joined by guest panellists Barbara Bray MBE, Sir Charles Burrell, Dan Burdett, and Robin Hobson to to help navigate through this challenging and complex subject.

Chair & Guest Panellists

CHAIR Anna Hill, of BBC Radio 4 Farming Today 

Anna started her broadcasting career at BBC Radio Sussex, later moving to Radio 4 and has covered stories from across the UK and around the world.

Barbara Bray MBE FIFST MSC, Director of Alo Solutions Ltd

Barbara is a TEDx speaker and director of her own consultancy business Alo Solutions Ltd which drives and delivers food safety in food supply chains and develops sustainable nutrition strategies for food businesses.

Sir Charles Ray Burrell, Owner of Knepp Estate

Sir Charles Raymond Burrell inherited Knepp Castle Estate in West Sussex from his grandparents in 1983. After running the Estate’s arable and dairy business for 17 years, Charles now devotes all 3,200 acres of the Knepp Estate to a process-led rewilding project.

Dan Burdett, manager of two organic dairy farms 

Dan runs two organic dairy farms both of which are autumn calving, with the milk being sold through the cooperative Arla, and is passionate about improving the health and diversity of farms

Robin Hobson, Chairman of Laurence Gould Partnership 

Robin is the Chairman of Laurence Gould Partnership, the national firm of agricultural consultants. He has been providing farm management and advisory services throughout the South East of England since 1977.


The Farming Conference is held by the South of England Agricultural Society as part of its charitable remit to fund and support agricultural education and countryside learning.

SAVE THE DATE: 16th November 2022

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