Suffolk Agricultural Association spring conference focuses on future of farming

THE future of farming is the theme for the upcoming Suffolk Agricultural Association Spring Conference, which takes place on February 29.

The conference, sponsored by AtlasFram Group, is titled “Our Farming Future” and will discuss the challenges facing the agricultural industry.

With volatility becoming a part of everyday farming life, the conference will examine all aspects of farming, from the use of new technologies to the problem of turbulent pricing and changes to the Common Agricultural Policy.

The conference will be introduced by Suffolk farmer Robert Rous and speakers include: Rodney Baker-Bates, a board member of AtlasFram Group, who will talk about managing volatility, Richard Anscombe, chief executive of AtlasFram Group and farmer Jonathan Crickmore, who will discuss the need for co-operation, David Lawrence, principal of Easton College, who will discuss the college’s work to provide a workforce for the future, and Chris Tapsell, technical director of KWS who will talk about science and technology.

The event will conclude with South East Cambridgeshire MP and Farming Minister Jim Paice and the Rt Hon the Lord Deben, who as John Gummer was MP for Suffolk Coastal and Secretary of State for the Environment.

Tickets for Suffolk Agricultural Association and AtlasFram members cost �35. Non-members pay �40 and under 30s �15.

The event starts at 1.30pm, with a buffet served from 5.45pm. For more information and to book tickets, contact Hannah Woods on 01473 707118 or visit .

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Sponsorship opportunities for School Farm and Country Fair

BUSINESSES across Suffolk are being given the chance to become sponsors for this year’s School Farm and Country Fair.

The event takes place at Trinity Park on April 26 and businesses can become sponsors to give schoolchildren the chance to visit for the day.

On the day, each school group is allocated their own farmer steward to guide them through the various activities and displays, allowing children to meet and find out more about a member of the local farming community.

The event includes demonstrations, such as a farrier at work, a sheep dog display, gun dog races and an impressive range of farm machinery.

Sponsorship of �100 pays for a school group to attend the event. To find out more about becoming a sponsor, contact education officer Hannah Woods on 01473 707118 or email .

International polo coming to Suffolk

International polo players will head to Trinity Park for the first time this summer to play in two special matches.

Organised by Suffolk Agricultural Association and ratified by Hurlingham Polo Association – the UK governing body for polo – two special matches will take place on Saturday, June 30 at an event called International Polo in Suffolk.

Teams from Norfolk and Suffolk will go head-to-head in a local derby, followed by an international match featuring teams representing England and Australia.

As well as the polo matches, there will be family entertainment and, of course, the half time tradition of spectators heading on to the playing field and “treading the divots”.

There will also be a number of equestrian, trade stands and information stands, making the day the perfect outing for those wanting a fun and social day out.

Peter Over, honorary chair of the SAA’s business development committee, said: “The popularity of polo has increased in recent years so we hope that hosting this event in Suffolk will help to raise its profile even more.

“Polo is a great spectator sport as it’s fast-paced and exciting to watch, so International Polo in Suffolk will give local people the chance to come along and enjoy one of the world’s oldest team sports. It will be a great day out for the whole family.

“The Hurlingham Polo Association very rarely ratifies a new venue, so we’re honoured to have been given the chance to host polo at Trinity Park,”

Tickets for International Polo in Suffolk cost �20 per car and will be on sale from the end of January.

Event to showcase farriery skills

Farriers from all over the UK will come to Trinity Park on March 2 and 3 for the second CPD Training Day and Eastern Counties Spring Championship and the inaugural Farriers’ Ball.

Farriers will be able to see leading Dorset-based farrier Andrew Reader-Smith showcase his general tool-making and maintenance skills as part of the Suffolk Agricultural Association’s continued commitment to and support for the farriery industry.

The Eastern Counties Spring Championship will see entrants competing in the hope of being awarded a silver or bronze medal from the Worshipful Company of Farriers, with cash prizes also on offer.

David Nunn, director of The Suffolk Show, said: “In spring last year we hosted our first highly successful Farriery Training Day and Spring Championships, at which over 60 apprentice and qualified farriers completed a very impressive 133 rounds of shoe-making.

“This year we are delighted that participants will benefit from working in our newly extended Farriery building. Currently still under construction, the extended facility is on schedule to be completed for our big weekend in March and will double the size and capacity of the original structure.

“We would like to say a huge thank you to AJN Steelstock of Bury St Edmunds for very generously donating the steel required for the farriery extension. We are also delighted that the event will be extended to include the Ball to bring the two days to a fun and celebratory close.”

Full details of the Farriery Training Day, Eastern Counties Spring Championship and Farriers’ Ball are available from Elizabeth Payne on 01473 707115 or at .