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2023 Autumn Farming Conference will focus on sustainability

Sustainability, water management and environmental schemes will be the key topics discussed during the 2023 Autumn Farming Conference at Wherstead Park, Ipswich on Tuesday 10 October.

Aimed at farmers, growers, landowners and the wider agricultural sector, it is being organised by Larking Gowen, a major regional independent accountancy partnership and one of the UK’s top 40 accountancy firms, in conjunction with the Country Land and Business Association (CLA), the membership organisation for owners of land, property and businesses in rural England and Wales.

“The 2023 Autumn Farming Conference will demonstrate the direction of travel for the farming industry and how the requirements of the environment and food production can be mutually compatible. The emphasis will be on delivering practical information and advice which delegates can use in their own businesses,” states Bruce Masson, the Larking Gowen partner behind the event. Joining him will be fellow Larking Gowen partner Laurie Hill and Steven Rudd, Head of the firm’s Farms and Rural Business team.

“Farmers are currently having to deal with extreme volatility in input and output prices, making it incredibly difficult to plan or budget accurately,” Bruce adds. “The unprecedented scale and speed of interest rate increases following almost 15 years of low, stable borrowing costs, together with Defra’s announcements on environmental schemes and how they will impact the taxation of farming businesses, are adding complexity to these significant challenges.

“The speakers we have selected are all experts in their respective fields and will provide a valuable insight into where we are as an industry, the headwinds and opportunities which exist for those who are correctly positioned, together with the future direction of travel. The aim is to consider how changing legislation will impact the farming sector, address delegates’ concerns and help them chart a roadmap for the future. Rather than simply being a series of presentations, this will be an interactive event where delegates will be able to ask questions and share their experiences with others.”

In the light of last year’s extreme drought and the last major water infrastructure in England being some 30 years ago, water management and how to make best use of this increasingly precious resource will be a key focus of this year’s Autumn Farming Conference. It will also be the focus of an interactive panel discussion hosted by specialists in this sector, including Charlie MacNicol of the Stody Estate, a family-run, diversified and ever-evolving estate in North Norfolk.

The organisers are currently finalising the line-up of sponsors and speakers, a full list of which will be announced nearer to the event, but already many individuals, businesses and organisations have committed their support.

Headline partners for the 2023 Autumn Farming Conference are Oxbury Bank and CLA Energy. Oxbury is the only UK bank dedicated to British agriculture, only lending to the food and farming sector. CLA Energy Services offers energy and water procurement services, free energy health checks, invoice validation and management of siteworks.

The conference is also supported by partners YAGRO, Integrity Asset Finance Ltd, and Impact Services.

We are also pleased to announce that Anglia Farmer are joining us this year as our media Partner.

The 2023 Autumn Farming Conference will be chaired by CLA East Director Cath Crowther and include presentations by a range of speakers. Amongst them will be Ian Evans, who will outline the diversification journey which he and his wife Diane have been on since opening Copdock Hall, their stunning Grade II-listed Elizabethan barn in the beautiful Suffolk countryside, as a wedding and events venue in April 2015. A former journalist, who is passionate about wine and wine making, Ian and Diane also own Copdock Hall Vineyard.

Ian will be joined by Matt Ryan, Head of Farmer Relationships at Oxbury, and Henry Welham, Partnership Manager at Yagro, while Emily Norton, former Head of Rural Research at Savills UK Ltd, will focus on environmental/sustainability policies and their interaction with agriculture. Born and raised on a mixed arable and dairy farm in Norfolk, Emily studied law at Cambridge and qualified in London before studying for a master’s degree in Sustainable Agriculture. Returning to the family farm, she founded Nortons Dairy, an on-farm dairy processing business.

Charity partners for the Autumn Farming Conference are YANA (You Are Not Alone) and Yellow Wellies, all profits from the event going to these much-admired organisations. YANA is the farming charity which provides mental health support for the farming and rural community. The Farm Safety Foundation, known by many as ‘Yellow Wellies’, works closely with Young Farmers Clubs, HSE, the Farm Safety Partnerships and a range of farming organisations to help raise awareness of farm safety.

Further details of the Autumn Farming Conference are available at and tickets can be booked online. The event on Tuesday 10 October 2023 will start at 09.15 with arrival/registration and conclude at 16:00.



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