Top line-up of speakers for annual Northern Farming conference

A range of farmers working at the cutting edge of crop and livestock management have been lined up to speak at this year’s Northern Farming Conference.

Under the theme ‘Crops and Livestock: Unlocking Potential’, leading farmers from across the country will be at Hexham Auction Mart on Wednesday, November 11, to explain how they keep their soil and animals in top condition.

Conference Chairman Andrew Robinson said: “I am delighted that once again we have been able to attract so many of our country’s top farmers to speak at this event.

“The farming industry is experiencing a prolonged state of volatility and it has never been more important for farmers and land managers to ensure they are maximising the potential of their crops and livestock.”

The conference is a joint venture between the CLA, Strutt & Parker, Bond Dickinson, Armstrong Watson, Catchment Sensitive Farming and Gibson & Co Solicitors.

Now in its sixth year, the Northern Farming Conference aims to give farmers the chance to consider how best to progress their businesses.

For more, visit or telephone 01748 907070.

Tom Sewell will speak about his experience of farming 1,000 acres in Kent’s Medway Valley over the last 30 years.

His crops are sown using minimum tillage and he is now moving towards a complete no-till system to maintain soil fertility and balance nutrients to grow the best possible crops with maximum yield.

Robert Thornhill, who farms near Bakewell in Derbyshire, will tell the conference about the forage and grazing techniques he uses to create sustainable pasture-based dairying and livestock farming. He is an advocate of mob grazing - using a large concentration of animals to graze a small area or small paddocks for very short periods of time – and has studied the subject extensively as part of a Nuffield Scholarship.

Also speaking at the conference will be award winning farmer, NFU Vice President and industry commentator Guy Smith. Guy farms a mixed and diversified family farm in north-east Essex and will share his unique and often controversial take on agriculture with the audience.

Other speakers include: Professor Robert Edwards of Newcastle University, Matthew Shepherd of Natural England, Dewi Jones of Innovis Limited and Gordon Whitford of HSBC.