Farm conference tackles Brexit challenges

Sentry Farming Conference speaker James Kerr - bestselling author.

Sentry Farming Conference speaker James Kerr - bestselling author. - Credit: Archant

Six “exceptional individuals” are set to address the challenges facing them in the post-Brexit world at a regional farming conference on Wednesday.

Sentry Farming Conference speaker David Walston - Cambridgeshire Farmer and Nuffield Scholar.

Sentry Farming Conference speaker David Walston - Cambridgeshire Farmer and Nuffield Scholar. - Credit: Archant

The Sentry farming conference, which takes place at Rowley Mile Racecourse in Newmarket, will include a wide range of speakers whose aim will be to give delegates some thought-provoking insights.

Bestselling author and speaker James Kerr, a founding partner of leadership, culture and change consultancy Fable, works with leaders across business, sport and the military.

His international bestseller, Legacy, reveals 15 leadership lessons from the All Blacks, the world’s most successful sporting team. It has been described as ‘seminal’ by the Telegraph and ‘unputdownable’ by Bloomberg. Piers Morgan described it as the “best book on leadership and winning I’ve ever read”.

His focus is on how leaders across sport, the military and business work to create high performance environments for competitive advantage and clients include Tier One US and UK Special Forces, Boeing, Adidas, Dyson, Red Bull, HSBC and Unilever, as well as UEFA Champions League, Premier League, Premiership Rugby, Formula One, and America’s Cup.

Sentry Farming Conference speaker Michael Aubrey - Partner, Mills & Reeve LLP.

Sentry Farming Conference speaker Michael Aubrey - Partner, Mills & Reeve LLP. - Credit: Archant

Christoph Wigger, a vice president at agricultural machinery makers John Deere, rose through the ranks from sales trainee to vice president for sales and marketing in western Europe and director of strategic planning and customer focus in Europe, Africa and the Middle East.

Cambridgeshire Farmer and Nuffield Scholar David Walston spent the first 28 years of his life interested in rocks, cars, photography and football - but never agriculture. This changed in 2010 when he came back to work on the family farm in Cambridge and noticed that some fields were much more productive than others. Six years and one Nuffield Scholarship later, the farm is a very different place, with no-till, cover and companion cropping and livestock integration all used in an effort to improve the soil and environment.

Most Read

Michael Aubrey, partner at law firm Mills & Reeve, is a farmer’s son with a degree in agricultural economics.

He qualified as a lawyer at Mills & Reeve in 1991 in the agricultural team. Michael is now joint head of the firm’s food and agribusiness sector specialising in advising farmers, landowners and agribusinesses. Michael led the team who advised The Wellcome Trust on its acquisition of Co-op Farms in 2014 and he regularly contributes to the farming press.

Sentry Farming Conference speaker Anna Jones - Journalist, Broadcaster and Nuffield Scholar.

Sentry Farming Conference speaker Anna Jones - Journalist, Broadcaster and Nuffield Scholar. - Credit: Archant

Journalist and broadcaster Anna Jones is a farmer’s daughter from Shropshire and a 2016 Nuffield Scholar. She is in the middle of writing up her report, which looks at the coverage of agricultural issues in the media.

She is a director on the primetime TV hit Countryfile, as well as a producer and occasional presenter on Radio 4’s Farming Today. She has also reported for BBC News.

As part of her Nuffield Scholarship Anna has travelled to the US, Ireland, Kenya, Denmark and France comparing farmers’ experiences of dealing with journalists and the media. These are countries with stark differences but Anna believes the UK has something to learn from each.

Graeme Taylor, director of public affairs for the European Crop Protection Association is a politics graduate who started his career in the Department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs during the foot-and-mouth outbreak of 2001.

Sentry Farming Conference speaker Graeme Taylor - Director Of Public Affairs, the European Crop Prot

Sentry Farming Conference speaker Graeme Taylor - Director Of Public Affairs, the European Crop Protection Association - Credit: Archant

He was deputy head of the EU & International Co-ordination function, before moving to Brussels to become agriculture attaché at the UK Representation to the EU in 2006, and then to the European Commission as a Communication Adviser in 2010. He took on his current role in September 2015.

Sentry Farming Conference speaker Christoph Wigger.

Sentry Farming Conference speaker Christoph Wigger. - Credit: Archant