South of England Farming Conference

Bringing together landowners, agriculturalists and industry representatives from across the South East, the South of England Farming Conference is part of our charitable remit to fund and support agricultural education and countryside learning.

It’s a chance to find out more about some of the most pressing matters facing the industry today, listen to expert views and get involved in the discussion and put your questions to our experts.

'What Should We Be Using Our Land For?'

On Wednesday the 13th November the South of England Agricultural Society will be hosting our next Farming Conference ‘What Should We Be Using Our Land For?’

BBC Radio 4’s Farming Today presenter Charlotte Smith will be chairing. Joined by Ben Taylor, Managing Director of Iford Estate, Paul Christian, Managing Director of Sentry Farming, and Tim Slaney, Interim Chief Executive of the South Downs National Park.

About our Speakers

Charlotte Smith (Chair) - Presenter of BBC Radio 4's Farming Today

Charlotte Smith is one of two main presenters of BBC Radio 4’s Farming Today. She grew up in Quorn, Leicestershire, where she volunteered on BBC Radio Leicester. Charlotte was then put on the BBC’s Local Radio Reporters Scheme before touring the local radio stations of Sussex, Cumbria and Devon. She then returned to Radio Leicester as a news reporter working alongside Julian Worricker. 

She also worked on BBC national radio, The World Tonight. More locally to Leicestershire, she became a reporter and sports presenter on East Midlands Today. Returning to national radio on BBC 5 Live, she was a producer, reporter and presenter. Prior to Farming Today Charlotte worked as a reporter for You and Yours, the lunch-time consumer programme on Radio 4. She has also since been a television reporter on BBC1’s Countryfile, until 2009, and returned as an occasional relief reporter from 2014. Charlotte is also a mother of two children.

Ben Taylor, Managing Director of Iford Estate

Ben manages the Iford Estate, near Lewes. Ben, who trained as a chemist before going into farming, said: “This land has been farmed for thousands of years since Neolithic times, so farming has made the landscape. We’ve achieved profitable farming in the 21st century and it’s allowed us to also provide valuable new wildlife habitats. I really enjoy seeing how farming and conservation can sit neatly side by side. We can look after the environment and, at the same time, produce food for people. Ben added: “I enjoy being up on the Downs, whether it’s a sunny day or the rain is beating in your face, it’s just a nice place to be and do a job that you love.”

Paul Christian, Managing Director of Sentry Farming

With over 30 years of experience in agriculture and farming, Paul is the Managing Director of Sentry, a leading provider of farm and estate management services in the UK and abroad. His mission is to help clients achieve sustainable and profitable growth through innovative and diversified solutions.

Christian has managed and assisted in managing farming enterprises in various locations and climates, from Sussex to Ukraine, from dairy to arable. In addition to leading successful product diversification projects, such as renewable energy, agri-tourism, and organic farming. 

Tim Slaney, Interim Chief Executive of the South Downs National Park

Slaney provides direction for a variety of environmental, social and economic projects within the South Downs National Park. 

Tim seeks to inspire and bring his experience from varied roles in local government and beyond. Crucial to this is a focus on tracking the provision of better quality services either through customer experience or results of developments on the ground in terms of quality design that delivers the three cornerstones of sustainable development.

THANKS TO OUR GENEROUS SPONSORS:

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