Northern Farming Conference
Northern Farming Conference
Northern Farming Conference 2017


Now in its eighth year, the Northern Farming Conference aims to give farmers the opportunity to consider how best to progress and take control of their businesses over the next few years. Under the theme Taking Control, leading farmers and industry stakeholders from across the country will examine what the future may hold for farmers and their plans for this, particularly in light of the ongoing uncertainty around the terms of the Brexit deal.

Conference Chairman Andrew Robinson said:

"We are now more than a year on from the Brexit vote and the level of uncertainty over the effects this could have on the farming and rural industry continue to grow. The conference gives a great opportunity to listen to the views of leading farmers and industry leaders on their opinions on how to steer a path through the uncertainty."



Speakers include...



Minette Batters  |  Deputy President, National Farmers Union

Minette runs a diversified, mixed farming business that includes horse livery, a wedding and corporate events venue and a catering business specialising in home-grown produce. 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 being County Chairman and is now the Deputy President.


Paul Caldwell  |  CEO, Rural Payments Agency

Paul has been with the Rural Payments Agency since 2001 and has worked in operations, communications and strategy. He was made Operations Director in 2010. Before the RPA, Paul was manager at the British Cattle Movement Service and occupied various roles within the former Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food.


Harriett Wilson  |  Senior Agricultural Manager, The Co-op Group

Harriet was named 2017’s Rising Star by 'Farmers Weekly' magazine. Within the agricultural team at The Co-op Group, she is responsible for dairy, fruit, vegetables and horticulture, plus has senior accountability for pork and agricultural marketing.


Paul Temple  |  ADHB Board Member and Chair, Cereals and Oilseeds Sector Board

Paul is a tenant farmer in a family partnership that runs a 312 hectare farm, with beef cattle, cereals, oilseeds and vining peas in Driffield, East Yorkshire. The farm has participated in the GM Field Scale Evaluation trials, is part of HLS and is now engaged in moving to Conservation Agriculture. He is a former NFU vice-president and former chairman of COPA/COGECA cereals, oilseeds and proteins group in Brussels. He was a founder of the European Biotech Forum. He was an AHDB Cereals & Oilseeds sector board member from 2013 to 2015 and past board member of the National Non Food Crops Centre.


Rod Smith  |  Northumberland Arable Farmer and owner of the Barn at Beal

Rod is an arable farmer, farming 1,000 acres at Beal in North Northumberland, in partnership with his wife. The farm is within an AONB, SSSI and also within The Lindisfarne NNR. Rod has been awarded the 'Tye Trophy' and the 'Silver Lapwing' for conservation, as well as the UK's 'Most Beautiful Farm Award'. He was awarded the Guinness World record for his 2015 wheat crop and tries to highlight that commercial farming can work in harmony with conservation methods


Stephen Sandison  |  Orkney Beef Farmer and Nuffield Scholar

Orkney Beef Farmer and Nuffield Scholar. Stephen is a first generation farmer who classes cattle benchmarking as his hobby! Starting as a dairyman, he worked on other farms before leaving full time employment and taking the opportunity to buy his own farm in 2009. He’s now running a herd of 100 spring calving Simmental and Saler cross cows and also grows 30 acres of spring barley. In 2012 his farm was selected as Orkney's first Monitor farm and in 2015 Stephen commenced his Nuffield Project "Are benchmarking targets for suckler cows achievable?". Stephen is a speaker who is passionate about beef cattle with a lifetime of practical hands on experience and a message to share.






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Earlybird Offer
For more information on the Northern Farming Conference, please contact the CLA North office on: 01748 907070
or email us here
partners Strutt and Parker CLA Bond Dickinson Armstrong Watson Hexham & Northern Marts Catchment Sensitive Farming Gibson and Co. Solicitors