12 January 2021


Virtual doors will be open ‘round the clock’ between February 1 and 5 when a line-up of inspirational speakers from the UK and beyond will be available online for the first ever ‘digital’ Wales Farming Conference 2021.  

“Expect to be motivated on both a personal and business level,” is the message from Eirwen Williams, director of rural programmes with Menter a Busnes, which delivers Farming Connect on behalf of the Welsh Government.  

Mrs. Williams is optimistic that as the industry prepares for 2021 and the recently struck Brexit deal starts to take effect, Farming Connect has come up with a unique programme which she hopes will attract not only all the usual attendees but many newcomers too.

“A series of 20 minute ‘not to be missed’ online presentations from an international line-up of speakers, can this year be accessed on your phone, tablet or computer at any time to suit yourself, without leaving your home or office.  

“Our promise is that each online ‘event’ will inspire and inform on a wide range of themes and topics.   

“Changing mindsets, asking whether farmers and food producers should change the way they operate, whether consumers will have different views on what to buy and eat and why first-generation farmers are often a breed apart, are just a few of this year’s diverse range of themes,” said Mrs. Williams.

Lesley Griffiths, the Welsh Government Minister for Environment, Energy and Rural Affairs will thank the industry for rising to the challenges of 2020, an unprecedented year by any standards, and set out her vision for creating a sustainable agricultural sector for future generations. 

Former special forces operative Ollie Ollerton ‘embarked on an absolute mission’ to marry his fiancée on his 50th birthday at Gretna Green on December 27, ‘because Covid put paid to the James Bond-themed wedding we planned’.  Ollie spent more than 13 years undertaking top secret operations in some of the most dangerous and remote locations on the planet.  He says he has learned enough through his Bond-style professional life to make you change the way you think, the way you feel and the way you perform. It’s a big claim – tune in to find out if he’s right.  

Marketing guru and retail analyst Sophie Colquhoun will share her views on capitalising on the value of ‘Welshness’ and what shoppers of the future will be looking for.   Will her knowledge and experience give you the competitive edge you’re looking for? 

Anne Villemoes will ask whether we are ‘harvesting hogs or killing pigs’! Anne, an international expert in reputational management will make you question whether you consider yourself a farmer or a food-producer and will explain why reputation and perception can make or break a business.   

Scientist Professor Alice Stanton will discuss recently published data about healthy diets, including the role of animal sourced foods.  Whether you agree or disagree, are a meat eater or not, if you’re a farmer or food producer, this is an opportunity to get up to speed on this controversial topic. 

“We believe we have come up with a varied programme which has something to offer everyone, regardless of what sector you operate in, so visit our website to browse the full conference programme, find out more about all our speakers and plan a timetable that will work for you,” said Mrs. Williams.

All individuals will need to register, after which they can ‘tune in’ at any time between 1- 5 February, at a time that best suits them. Click here for more information and to access the Wales Farming Conference registration form. You only need to register once to receive a link to access all conference sessions.  If you need assistance, or wish to pre-order a DVD of the week’s events, call the Farming Connect Service Centre on 08456 000 813. Rydym yn croesawu galwadau yn Gymraeg / We welcome calls in Welsh. 

Farming Connect is delivered by Menter a Busnes and Lantra Wales and funded by the Welsh Government and the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development. 

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