Farmers flock to agri event seeking diversification advice

Thousands of farmers flocked to Energy and Rural Business Show this month to explore diversification options to keep their businesses viable, and ‘future-proof’ against rising uncertainty.

The new event comes from the creators of ‘Energy Now Expo’ and for the first time showcased the latest renewable energy, farm diversification and low emission vehicle opportunities under one roof.

“We’re responding to a time of great ambiguity and transition in agriculture and have introduced three elements of the show which are defining farms of the future. The Energy Now Expo, celebrating ten years of success this year, was joined by Rural Business Expo and Low Emission Vehicles Expo,” says event director, David Jacobmeyer.

According to the NFU Mutual ‘Diversification report’ issued in November 2018, the most popular diversification opportunities are renewable energy, which makes up 29% of activity, property letting, at 15%, closely followed by holiday lets, glamping etc which makes up 12%.

Other types of popular enterprises include livery stables, outdoor leisure activities and farm shops, all of which were heavily featured at the show, with expert speakers informing in ‘How-to’ diversification workshops, presenting in the multi-streamed conference and exhibiting.

Testament to the success of the event and taking centre stage at the show were the new BBC Top Gear team, Paddy McGuinness, Freddie Flintoff and Chris Harris, who stopped off at the Telford show to film part of their next series.

The trio attended Telford International Centre to film a section with their own custom-made electric vehicles.

Each vehicle was a never seen before custom-made model and the show was the only place the vehicles will be available to view until the Top Gear episode is aired later in the year.

Energy and Rural Business Show is expected to go from strength to strength and the next event will take place in February 2020.

 

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About The Author

John Swire - Deputy editor of Agronomist and Arable Farmer as well as responsibility for the Agronomist and Arable Farmer and Farm Business websites. After 17 years milking cows on the family farm John started writing about agriculture in 1998 and has since written for a variety of publications and has developed a wide circle of contacts within the industry. When not working John is a season ticket holder at Stoke City and also of late has become a fitness freak, listing cycling, swimming and walking as his exercises of choice.