Oxford Farming Conference Directors sought

The Oxford Farming Conference (OFC) is seeking three new directors to join the ten-strong team from January 2017 for a three-year term to deliver the conferences from 2018-20.

The Council is voluntary and is made of a group of people who are committed and active within the agricultural industry. The Directors’ role is to work with the rest of the team to deliver the Conference programme, speakers and the extended activities now linked to the OFC such as the Arable Conference at the Cereals Event. The team is supported by a professional secretariat and a marketing consultant.

“The Oxford Farming Conference is a charity that has a mission to inform, challenge and inspire people the agricultural sector,” says Martin Davies, Chairman of the 2017 conference. “The conference is regarded as the leading event for networking and debate in British farming, which is enhanced by our related activities, including an active scholars’ programme and organising the annual Arable Conference at the Cereals Event.

“I’m now in my final year, and I have found the role both stimulating and rewarding,” he says. “The conference itself prompts often heated debates, as well as posing some challenging concepts and speakers – it is a unique experience for anyone who has a progressive view of the future of our sector.”
The OFC Director positions are wholly honorary but reasonable expenses are reimbursed and attendance at the Conference is offered free of charge for the three years in office. Our selection process is based on trying to get a balanced team and we often suggest that applicants apply in another year if their particular skills are already represented on the council.

Leaving the Council in 2017 will be Martin Davies (Westchester Group Investment Management), Charlotte Smith (BBC Radio 4 and Countryfile presenter) and Alan Laidlaw (The Crown Estate).

“By joining the Council you are making a commitment to delivering the conference and it is important that prospective applicants appreciate the time commitment being made” Mr Davies adds.”

The Oxford Farming Conference takes place early in January every year where it sets the agenda for the year ahead for an entire industry. “The Conference has significantly extended its reach to include online streaming of the conference, the annual OFC research, the OFC/RASE Practice with Science and Innovation Award and its partnership with Haymarket to deliver the Cereals Event Summer Conference. All of these activities extend the OFC brand and help to meet its charitable objectives of education and encouraging the next generation.”

The OFC is particularly interested in individuals who are passionate about the future of farming and can demonstrate one or more of the following skill areas:

• A track record of successful innovation in agriculture or horticulture

• Experience of developing agricultural policies and strategy

• Highly effective communication, networking and PR skills

• Broad and effective networks of contacts across the public, private and academic sectors, with particular interest in building overseas contacts

• Creative ideas and concepts for the future development of the OFC

Those selected as members will be invited to attend two Council meetings in November and December 2016, prior to formal appointment, and will then be expected to attend 6-8 Council meetings per year and the Oxford Farming Conference itself for their three-year term.

Current directors are: Martin Davies, Dr John Gilliland OBE, Alan Laidlaw, Robert Lasseter, Caroline Millar, Julie Robinson, Charlotte Smith, Tom Allen-Stevens and Will Surman. The treasurer is David Turner, the secretary is Ann Newbold and the marketing is undertaken by Jane Craigie.

Anyone interested in applying can download an application form from the OFC website www.ofc.org.uk. Applications close on the 17 June 2016.

The 2017 Conference will be held from 3-5 January at the Oxford University Examination Schools.

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