Farming's Emerging Leaders sponsored by the Oxford Farming Conference

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Farming's Emerging Leaders sponsored by the Oxford Farming Conference

Fifteen of the UK's top farmers are being funded to attend the 2017 Oxford Farming Conference (OFC) which will be held at Oxford University from 3-5 January 2017.

The OFC Council has invited farmers to join its Emerging Leaders initiative, which builds on the OFC's successful UK and international scholars' programmes.

Conference delegate places have been offered to people aged 30-45 years of age who are developing their skills and passion for leadership roles within the global agri-food sector. The initiative is being funded with support from Massey Ferguson.

The OFC invited organisations already actively developing leadership within agriculture and the rural communities to elect people to attend. Partner organisations involved are: AHDB, the Institute of Agricultural Management (IAgrM), Nuffield Farming Scholarship Trust, Scottish Enterprise Rural Leadership, The European Young Farmers Association (CEJA) and the Worshipful Company of Farmers. Four final places were sought from the wider industry via a Twitter promotion. The fifteen people are:

Emerging Leader   Elected By
Antony Pearce, Moat Farm, Stoke Mandeville, Bucks AHDB
Rhys Williams, Trygarn, Sarn Meltyrn, South Wales AHDB
James Chapman, F Moreton & Co, Leamington Spa, Warks Nuffield Farming Scholarship Trust
Patrick Hook, PD Hook, Bampton, Oxon Nuffield Farming Scholarship Trust
Susannah Pate, South Powrie, By Dundee, Angus Scottish Enterprise Rural Leadership Programme
Tracey Roan, Barnbarroch Farm, Dalbeattie, Dumfries & Galloway Scottish Enterprise Rural Leadership Programme
Angela Kirkwood, East Riding Country Pork, Halsham, E Yorks Challenge of Rural Leadership (Worshipful Company of Famers)
Charlie Chamberlain, Crowmarsh Battle Farms, Oxon Institute of Agricultural Management
Naill Blair, Kilry, Blairgowrie, Angus Applied via Twitter promotion
Fiona Hanna, Newry, Northern Ireland Applied via Twitter promotion
Dan Roberts, Brackley, Northants. Applied via Twitter promotion
Nicola Renison, Cannerheugh Farm, Renwick, Cumbria Applied via Twitter promotion
Alan Jagoe, Carrigaline, Co.Cork, Ireland President, CEJA
Alice Cerutti, Vercelli, Northern Italy Vice-President, CEJA
Juha Tenho, Ulvila, Finland Vice-President, CEJA

"At the heart of every farm and rural business there is someone responsible for the key decisions - individuals who drive the business forward. They recognise the opportunities, seize the agenda, and forge the path that others will follow. The OFC offers an excellent opportunity for these individuals to develop their networks and sector knowledge and the OFC Council feel that this is something that we can support them with by their attendance of the conference," explains Martin Davies, the OFC's 2017 Chairman.

"The OFC is cited by delegates as one of the best events for meaningful conversations with a wide range of contacts, including scientists, senior leaders from UK retail, policy makers, NGOs and supply chain managers. We attract the best speakers to a farming conference in the UK, people that will inform, challenge and inspire those with a determination to succeed."

The 15 selected Emerging Leaders will attend the conference at no cost. In addition, OFC are laying on some extra activities to encourage discussion and dialogue within the group and feedback that can be promoted to a wider audience.

The initiative is funded jointly as part of the OFC's charitable outreach for education and by Massey Ferguson. "We are excited to be playing an active part in this important programme with the OFC to develop our future farming leaders," says William Judge, Massey Ferguson National Sales Manager UK and Ireland. "It is a key element of our wider commitment to help support the next generation of farmers with their careers in agriculture. Now, more than ever before, strong leadership, clear vision and confident decision-making are pivotal to guiding global farming through the enormous challenges ahead."

To qualify as an emerging leader, the applicants were guided as follows:

  • Must be actively farming, aged between 30-45;
  • Must have not attended OFC in the past;
  • Must be able and willing to attend OFC from 3-5 January, 2017.

The OFC already runs an annual Travel Award also targeted for emerging leaders in the UK and Germany. This award is run in conjunction with DLG, The German Agricultural Society.

The Oxford Farming Conference will be held from 3-5 January 2017 - for more details go to www.ofc.org.uk.