South of England Farming Conference & Forum 2018

Farming Conference

FREE event – online registration is essential.

Register your FREE place

Date: Wednesday 14th November

Time: 18.00 – 22.00 

The Great Agricultural Debate
There is a great deal going on in the world. Disruption to trade, political instability, economic pressures, volatility, changes in farm policy, new technology and data privacy to name but a few. The question is, what does this mean for our rural industries? To help us untangle the myriad of issues, we are pulling together a panel of industry leaders who will be able to give us their views on the challenges ahead. So, start putting your questions together, ready for 14th November and the biggest debate of 2018.

We have an accomplished panel of speakers who will discuss and debate these issues.  Charlotte Smith will chair the session, allowing for plenty of questions and debate from the floor.

Chair – Charlotte Smith
Charlotte Smith of BBC Radio 4’s Farming Today and BBC1’s Countryfile programmes will once again chair the Conference. Charlotte grew up in Leicestershire and worked in local radio as a sports presenter before moving into rural programmes. She is a voluntary Director of the Oxford Farming Conference.


Joe Delves
Joe currently operates two dairy block calving units in Sussex. A Nuffield Scholarship award in 2012 allowed Joe to travel and look at dairy farming around the world, after which he wrote a Nuffield paper entitled “How to succeed in dairy farming”.

Séan Rickard
Sean has been involved in agri-food policy and business matters for more than 40 years and now runs his own consultancy specialising in agri-food matters. He was previously Director of the Cranfield School of Management’s MBA programme, the NFU’s Chief Economist and a government academic adviser on farm policy.

Guy Smith
Guy farms a mixed and diversified family farm in north-east Essex. He has held numerous senior positions with the NFU and is currently Deputy President. He has also served on the boards of FACE, HGCA and Landskills New Entrants Committee.

Stuart Thomson
Stuart heads the European Food & Farming Partnerships’ food supply chain development work with over 20 years’ experience in the farming and food industries.  Stuart has advised some of the UK’s leading food businesses on supply chain development and raw material strategy. 


Technical Forum

The Conference will once again be preceded by the Technical Forum. You can attend either or both events but you must register online to secure your place.

Click here to register your FREE place

Time: 15.30 – 17.30

Breaking the mould – building a business in a new era
The agricultural industry is facing great change. Not just changes posed by Brexit, but also change brought about by technological advances and changing societal demands. Change brings with it uncertainty, but it also creates opportunity for those who are prepared to innovate and do things differently.

This year’s Technical Forum  brings together a number of speakers who have been there and done it.  Entrepreneurs who have broken the mould and built successful businesses against the odds. We also have someone with financial expertise who will set out how best to fund new initiatives.

Come ready to be inspired and informed… to be prepared to capture the opportunities in a new era.

Chair – Chris Appleton
Chris is a third generation farmer from Arlington, East Sussex, where he runs the family farm alongside his father Peter. After studying business at Reading University Chris spent a year on a dairy farm in New Zealand.


Ian Webb
Ian Webb leads the South East Agriculture business for Lloyds SME Banking. He is actively involved in setting and developing the national strategy, proposition and performance of the Lloyds Agricultural offering.

Laura and Andy Hodgkins
Andy and Laura farm a 2,000 head flock of NZ Romneys on a 700 acre tenancy on the Cowdray Estate on an extensive outdoor system, predominantly for breeding stock.

Matt Redman
Matt operates an agricultural contracting business covering Bedfordshire and surrounding counties and farms 240ha of tenanted land in Cambridgeshire. Matt is a regular contributor to Farmers Weekly. 

Click here to read more about our panel of speakers.

With thanks to our generous sponsors

CLM; Lloyds Bank; Mayo Wynne Baxter; Richard Place Dobson LLP

Media Sponsor: South East Farmer