Agenda: Farmers Weekly Farm Diversification event Northamptonshire

(Second in a series of 3) 

09:15 – Registration and coffee

09:30 – Welcome from Suzie Horne, Business editor, Farmers Weekly

09:40 – The Dee Family Welcome you to West Lodge
West Lodge Farm is an award-winning farm park where children and adults of all ages can have hands on experiences of a working farm and country life. Visitors to the farm can see the many structural additions Mo and Edd have made in the last few years with reference to the indoor adventure barn, new shop entrance, retail space and other alterations around the farm park.
Find out why wilding and conservation in its purest sense with very little work done by humans, is the next step in their farm diversification story.
Mo and Edd Dee, West Lodge Farm

10:10 – Panel discussion: Diversify by blending farming with rewilding and reforestation projects
In this session explore the value of conventional farming with respect to broader agendas such as biodiversity production, food security, rural sustainable development, ecosystem services and cultural heritage.  Examine the practicalities of wilding or part wilding your farm as a form of diversification.
Suzie Horne, Business editor, Farmers WeeklyNeil Jarvis, Local Partnership Advisor, Forest Services, Forestry Commission England

Neil Jarvis, Local Partnership Advisor, Forest Services, Forestry Commission England
Ed Dee, West Lodge Farm
James Hepburne Scott, Forest Carbon Ltd

11:00 – 11:15 Coffee break and Networking 

11:15 – The farm diversification opportunities from energy schemes.
Renting land to an energy scheme – whether a solar farm on 40-200 acres to a battery storage site on up to 2 acres – can give excellent long-term and stable incomes. Hugh will explain the income opportunities available to those with suitable sites, the keys to achieving a scheme on your land, how to avoid the pitfalls and how to get the best terms and incomes from developers.
Hugh Taylor, CEO, Roadnight Taylor

11:35 – Farm Diversification Story: Diversification at Greatworth Hall
Greatworth Hall is a diversified mixed farm in South Northamptonshire. Since beginning to diversify in 2002 they have developed office lets, workshops, an award-winning education centre and more recently, a café. This session will be led by Rosie Jeffries, the 6th generation farmer, who will discuss the opportunities and challenges the family have faced over the past 20 years as they have diversified and extended their business.
Rosie Jeffries, Greatworth Hall farm

12:00 – 12:15 Coffee break and Networking 

12:15 – Planning the right diversification project for you – Don’t necessarily go for the typical diversification
Mark Charter, MRICS MARLA, Partner, Carter Jonas

12:35 – Farm Diversification Story

13:00 – Build it and they will come. Or will they?
When you get the visitor experience right it can become your single most valuable competitive advantage.
It really doesn’t matter how wonderful you think your venue is, it’s what your customers think that matters. Social Proof is the new marketing.
In this talk, Caroline will share 3 common pitfalls that can directly impact your visitors’ experience, your all-important reviews, and your customer retention. And ultimately your bottom line.
Plus, the simple strategies to avoid them and turn your visitors into brand ambassadors.
Caroline Cooper, Customer Experience Specialist, Naturally Loyal

13:25 – 14:10 Lunch and Networking

14:10 – Suzie Horne, Business editor, Farmers Weekly, closing remarks and West Lodge Farm tours
Depending on your interests choose one of our 3 guided tours of West Lodge Farm.
1. Diversification and sustainability: Take a tour of the solar park and biomass boiler. A large part of the farm is given over to a solar park providing electricity to the national grid and all the heating on the farm site is provided by the biomass boiler.
2. Diversifying with children and education in mind: Take a guided tour of the educational facilities, the retail space and the indoor and outdoor adventure parks.
3. Wilding and wildlife: This tour helps you assess your farm’s potential for rewilding, rethink how you will produce food and farm in the future.

(Draft agenda- further speakers to be announced shortly)

Diversification Event Speakers

Caroline Cooper

Naturally Loyal

Ed and Mo Dee

West Lodge Farm Park

Hugh Taylor

CEO, Roadnight Taylor

Mark Charter

Head of Estate Management at Carter Jonas

Neil Jarvis

Forestry Commission Local Partnership Advisor

Rosie Jeffries

Greatworth Hall farm

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