Farming community to explore ‘world of opportunity’ in 2019

The future of farming in what is set to be a momentous year for the UK will come under discussion at the 2019 Oxford Farming Conference (OFC) which gets underway on 2 January.

With the country’s departure from the EU now just over three months away, delegates from across the agriculture spectrum will congregate at Oxford University to consider the ‘world of opportunity’ in a post-Brexit world.

Over the course of the three-day event, more than 600 farmers, agronomists, innovators, academics, land agents, lawyers and retailers will have the opportunity to attend briefings, presentations and receptions, and participate in seminars, workshops and networking events.

The headline political briefing will be delivered by Defra secretary Michael Gove MP, who will challenge the latest developments of the proposed British agricultural policy. This will be followed by a panel session featuring Mr Gove, shadow Defra minister David Drew MP, and NFU president Minette Batters.

The conference will also facilitate a discussion between farming minister George Eustice MP, and farmer, former New Zealand agriculture and trade minister, and former High Commissioner to the UK, Sir Lockwood Smith.

Elsewhere, Thrings – which has the largest specialist agricultural team of any law firm in the UK – will co-sponsor the OFC Oxford Union Debate - ‘this house believes the country would be better served if farmers focused on profits rather than public goods’ - as well as the post-debate supper at Christ Church.

And Inari Agriculture’s Julie Borlaug will use the Frank Parkinson Lecture to explain how collaborative partnerships between the public and private sectors can support the advancement of innovation and technology in agriculture.

Other distinguished guests at this year’s OFC will include Sir Ian Cheshire, chairman of Barclays UK, Caroline Lucas MP, former leader of the Green Party, Hilary McGrady, director-general of the National Trust, and Tom Lancaster, principal policy officer for agriculture at the RSPB.

Thrings – who will be represented at the conference by head of agriculture Duncan Sigournay, partner Mark Charter, and associate Robert James - will keep clients and colleagues up to date with the latest news, views and key developments from Oxford via @ThringsAgri.

For more information about the OFC, please click here.

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