Farmers Weekly has teamed up with a group of leading agricultural organisations to tackle the public’s misconceptions about agriculture head-on, in a one-day online event titled “The Future of Food and Agriculture” – and you can claim free tickets.
Organised with popular science magazine New Scientist, the event will give thousands of people an opportunity to see how British agriculture is leading the world in sustainability, animal welfare and food quality, and playing a vital part in tackling the challenge of climate change.
And to highlight the fact that agriculture is the most exciting place to be if you’re interested in applying the latest developments in science and technology to make a real difference to people’s lives.
Find out more and claim your free tickets
● The Future of Food and Agriculture online event takes place on Saturday 28 November from
10am to 5pm
● Claim one of 150 free tickets using code FWNSL20 at the checkout
● Find out more about the programme for the day
The one-day event features a series of talks from top scientists and industry experts on topics ranging from how to feed 11 billion people sustainably to robot farming and the exciting potential of gene editing.
A dedicated Farmers Weekly stage includes panel discussions on hot topics such as the true impact of farming on climate change, why meat is good for people and the planet and the exciting new career opportunities opening up in agriculture.
There will also be dozens of live demonstrations in virtual “rooms”, where the public can interact directly with the presenters.
What’s on show?
Here is just a taste of what attendees will be able to see and do at The Future of Food and Agriculture event.
- The John Innes Centre is giving the public the chance to hear from some of its top researchers in its virtual “room” on topics including how “super peas” could reduce diabetes risk and how plant gene editing works. Dale Sanders, director of the John Innes Centre, says: “Our room is themed around our vision, “Healthy Plants, Healthy People, Healthy Planet”. Together with The Sainsbury Laboratory, we will be demonstrating research techniques, providing virtual tours of our facilities and hearing from leading researchers in gene editing, plant health and genetics.
- Harper Adams University has a packed programme “From agricultural robotics, the application of autonomous farm machinery and novel uses of drones to microchipping slugs, cow signalling and sheep scoring, there will be something for everyone,” says vice-chancellor David Llewellyn.
- Rothamsted Research – the world’s oldest agricultural research lab – is running sessions on monitoring insect populations, how we can deliver on the promise of GM crops, how science can transform livestock farming and how to pack more nutrients into your lunch.
- The UK’s Agri-Tech Centres will be showcasing some of the exciting developments they’re supporting in fields such as crop production, livestock management and data analysis. “We aim to inspire people – to give an insight into the varied, challenging careers available to those interested in feeding the world,” says Ciel chief executive Lyndsay Chapman.
- Morrisons is running a series of presentations and Q&A sessions on topics including the future of eggs, the science of cheese and the complexities of global supply chains. Attendees can also experience a day in the life of Morrisons’ head of agriculture, Sophie Throup.
- John Deere’s UK head Jonathan Henry will give a glimpse of the future of tractors and other farm machinery, revealing some of the concepts being developed by the company’s advanced technology research teams. The machinery giant revealed some of this work at Agritechnica last year, including examples of autonomous and semi-autonomous tractors, drone sprayers and the application of artificial intelligence to recognise weeds.
- NFU Six NFU Young Ambassadors will be inspiring others with a look at biodiversity in livestock farming, forging a path in the industry, and the reasons why having a farming background isn’t always the most important attribute employers want.
- Royal Agricultural University student Jess Palmer, who was a contestant in Farmers Weekly’s Farmers Apprentice this year, will be discussing her passion for British farming, and there will be an insights on Climate Smart agriculture – innovative solutions for reliably producing food while mitigating climate change challlenges.
- The Small Robot Company will introduce farm robots Tom, Dick and Harry and their central artificial intelligence brain, Wilma – and showcase how robots like these can apply inputs exactly where they are needed to reduce costs and protect the environment.
Dr David Llewellyn, vice-chancellor of Harper Adams University, the lead education partner for the event, says: “It is vital that we assist the public understanding of agricultural and food science by explaining the enormous transformation that is going on in the industry.
“This is an ideal way to reach new audiences of young people, to encourage them to think differently about these subjects”
The NFU is debuting its Climate Superheroes show, which shows school children some of the ways farmers are helping to tackle climate change.
Fran Barnes, NFU director of communications, says: “It’s important we instil an understanding of where food comes from and how it is produced from an early age, not only to inspire future farmers but also to educate the consumers of tomorrow about how drastically their food can differ depending on where it has come from.”
Supermarket firm Morrisons is keen to highlight some of the exciting careers available in food and farming.
Sophie Throup, head of agriculture, fisheries and sustainable sourcing, says: “We hope that being involved in the event will help inform and inspire the next generation of talent.
“We need the best brains to help understand and support our industry through the challenges and opportunities in managing our climate and environment, as well as providing care and support for the animals and people in those systems.”
The Future of Food and Agriculture team
These organisations are working with Farmers Weekly at the Future of Food and Agriculture event.