2017 ‘Adapting to Change’ Conference for arable growers

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The ‘Adapting to Change’ Arable Conference will take place on Tuesday 10 January 2017 at Greenmount Campus CAFRE.

This all day conference jointly organised by CAFRE, the Ulster Arable Society and the Ulster Farmers’ Union will provide arable growers with an update on current agronomy and business management issues.

The event organisers have arranged for a variety of top speakers to address delegates on the day. They are as follows:

Opening address – DAERA Minister Michelle McIlveen

Key Note Speaker - Matt Dempsey retired Editor of the IFJ

Matt Dempsey retired as Editor of the Irish Farmers’ Journal after 25 years in March 2013. He is chairman of The Agricultural Trust, publishers of the Irish Farmers Journal and The Irish Field. He is a former President of the European Agricultural Publishers Association and the Irish Grassland Association. He is president of the RDS having been chairman of the board for 10 years. Also, Matt is a past chair of the National Agricultural Research Institute and ACOT, the national advisory and education body before their amalgamation into Teagasc. A graduate ina agricultural science from UCD, he also runs an intensive tillage and beef farm in Co Kildare.

In 2010, Matt was awarded an Honorary Degree of Doctor of Science from University College Dublin. In September 2011, Matt was conferred with an Honorary Doctorate (DLitt) from Harper Adams University. Matt is a member of the board of the National Gallery of Ireland and in 2012, Matt was appointed chairman of the National Newspapers of Ireland. In 2013, Matt was appointed as chairman of the Irish National Stud.

Tom Hind – Chief Strategy
Officer, AHDB

Tom Hind is an experienced and respected figure in British agriculture with a strong track record of leadership and strategy development and interaction with senior decision makers in government, EU institutions and major UK food companies.

Most recently Tom was the agriculture director for Tesco where he was responsible for the development and delivery of Tesco’s agricultural strategy and building stronger relationships with farmers and growers. Prior to that Tom had more than 15 years of experience working for the National Farmers Union in roles including director of corporate affairs and head of economic and international affairs.

Tom was brought up working on his uncle’s cattle farm in Sheffield and later spent a year working on a dairy farm in France, before joining the NFU in 1998. He is fluent in French and is a trustee of Forage Aid, a charity that supports farmers through natural disasters.

Louise Brinkworth – 
Stewardship Leader, Europe Middle East and Africa, Dow AgroSciences

Louise has worked in the development and registration of new crop protection products for over 25 years, her career has spanned from early experiments to discover potential new active substances, through their development, registration and launch. Louise’s work has focused on how products fit user’s needs, developing practical labels and technical support as well as gaining registrations. Louise has gained broad experience across fungicides, insecticides, herbicides and pest control, in the UK, France and USA. In her current role as stewardship leader, Louise works to ensure the sustainability of plant protection products through stewardship.

Leigh McClean – Crops
Development Advisor, CAFRE

Leigh has been with CAFRE since 2013 initially working as crops technologist based at Greenmount campus and more recently as crops development adviser covering the northern region based in Coleraine. An agricultural technology graduate of Greenmount and Queen’s, Leigh joined the Co-operative Farms trainee manager scheme in 2005 before taking a permanent post with the company as assistant manager of Blairgowrie Estate, Perthshire, producing over 700 tons of strawberries annually. In 2009 Leigh took the opportunity to move abroad to manage a fledgling arable enterprise extending to some 7500ha in Bulgaria’s fertile Danube basin, growing wheat, oilseeds and maize before returning to Northern Ireland in early 2013. BASIS and FACTS trained Leigh has a keen interest in crop production working with growers through business development groups in the north west.

John Best – Arable Farmer

John farms at Poyntzpass, Co Armagh. The farm business comprises arable crops and beef enterprises with the main crops being wheat, oats, oilseed rape, beans and willow. The beef enterprise consists of sucker cows including a pedigree Aberdeen Angus herd. John is currently chairman of Good Food NI and serves on the board of Fane Valley Co-op. He has previously been chairman of the Ulster Arable Society and the UFU Seeds of Cereals Policy Committee. John is an Agricultural graduate of Newcastle upon Tyne University and can occasionally be spotted in the stands at an Ulster or Ireland game.

Tom Curran, Farm
Structures Specialist,

Thomas Curran is a farm structures specialist in the Farm Management and Rural Development Department of Teagasc. He has responsibility for the development and promotion of collaborative farming structures in Teagasc. To date, Teagasc have developed structures such as registered farm partnerships; contract heifer rearing, cow leasing and share farming models that are suited to Irish farming. Tom takes an industry leading role in the development and promotion activities, while researching and developing new collaboration models such as machinery sharing and contract cropping.

Thomas graduated with an honours degree in agricultural science from UCD in 1996 and he completed a Masters in 1998. He has recently completed a diploma in leadership development at the Irish Management Institute. In his previous role, he worked for Teagasc as a well-respected business and technology dairy advisor in the west Cork area. Tom will share with delegates the role that collaborative farming structures play in family farm succession, the structures and incentives that are in place to encourage participation and uptake.

Dr Pete Berry, Head of Crop Physiology ADAS UK Ltd

Pete is a crop physiologist who has worked at ADAS for 13 years. He is based at ADAS High Mowthorpe in North Yorkshire. Prior to this he worked as a post-doctoral researcher in crop science at Sutton Bonington, Nottingham University.

The main aim of his work is to improve performance and reduce pollution of cropping systems through an understanding of crop physiology, plant breeding and agronomy. His goal is to produce sound practical advice for the farming industry which is based on rigorous and high quality research (he has authored 37 peer reviewed research papers). Important areas of his research include; increasing crop yields sustainably, optimising nutrient inputs to crops, exploitation of precision farming technologies, and lodging control and plant growth regulation.

Farmer debate – to include: Allan Chambers and Richard Kane, Facilitated by Andy Doyle, tillage editor, IFJ.

How to Book your Place?

Conference cost is £25 per person and booking is via the UFU website www.ufuni.org/events

If you have difficulty booking online, contact Angela Scott at UFU HQ on 028 9037 0222. Note: Places cannot be reserved and payment in full is required when booking by credit or debit card.

For conference speakers or facilities queries contact: CAFRE KT admin on 02894426790 or email: kt.admin@daera-ni.gov.uk