Conference 2017

/Conference 2017
Conference 20172018-08-03T18:31:29+00:00

Farming for the future, Post Brexit

Wednesday 8th February 2017 – The Rowley Mile Racecourse, Newmarket

We are delighted to announce six exceptional individuals to address the challenges facing them in a post Brexit landscape.  The 2017 conference will provide a considered, balanced and thought provoking insight for all those present:-


Sentry Lecture – James Kerr – Writer, Speaker, Advisor: Globally respected best selling author and speaker on defining, designing and delivering a winning environment.  What UK agriculture can learn from the All Blacks.

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 calls it the ‘best book on leadership and winning I’ve ever read.’

An inspiring and insightful speaker, his focus is on how leaders across sport, the military and business work to create high performance environments for competitive advantage.

Christoph Wigger Vice President, John Deere:  Opportunities, threats and new technologies. Farming for the future through John Deere’s eyes.

Christoph Wigger joined the company in 1991 as sales trainee for JD export (Germany) and progressed in 1993 to territory manager.

In 1996 Christoph progressed to parts manager in Germany, and then divisional sales manager in 1997.  In 2001 he became the manager for factory marketing in Mannheim, Germany, and then in 2003 general manager of JD in Vertrieb.

In 2007 Christoph was promoted to VP for Sales and Marketing in Western Europe and director of strategic planning and customer focus in Europe, Africa and the Middle East.

Christoph’s current role is VP for all sales and marketing for the above areas, a position he has held since 2009.

David Walston Cambridgeshire Farmer and Nuffield Scholar: Will Brexit change the way I farm?

David spent the first 28 years of his life interested variously 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.

Michael Aubrey Partner, Mills & Reeve LLP:  Brexit – what are the legal implications of leaving the EU?

Michael is a farmer’s son and has 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.  Michael’s clients appreciate his “in-depth understanding of the farming community” and he regularly contributes to the farming press.  When Michael has any spare time he is referee to three sports mad boys and enjoys the occasional escape to his farmhouse in Pembrokeshire.

Graeme Taylor – Director of Public Affairs, ECPA: Where have all our active ingredients gone? The challenges facing the crop protection industry.

A politics graduate, Graeme started his career in Defra during the FMD outbreak in 2001, and was Deputy-Head of the EU & International Co-ordination function, before moving to Brussels to become Agriculture Attache at the UK Representation to the EU in 2006, and then to the European Commission as a Communication Adviser in 2010.  He took up the post as Director of Public Affairs for the European Crop Protection Association (ECPA) in September 2015.

Anna Jones – Journalist, Broadcaster and Nuffield Scholar: Managing the Media – learning from farmers’ experiences from around the globe.

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. Anna’s topic was borne out of her 10 year career specialising in farming and rural affairs at the BBC. 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 and every one.