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2013 Conference Report
A report from the 2013 Annual Conference
The 2013 Nuffield Annual Conference was held on the 21st and 22nd November at the Vale Resort, Cardiff. The event was hosted by the Welsh Scholar group, chaired by 1998 Nuffield Scholar Wyn Owen.
The group are delighted to report that delegate numbers at the Conference were the highest for many years, with over 350 individuals attending the first day. A total of 18 Scholars presented over the two days, with day one seeing a total of 12 Scholar presentations, with the remaining presented on day two.
It was Amy Jackson who opened the Conference with her report ‘Can we learn to love the mega dairy? Politics, planning and PR.’ She was followed by James Szabo who presented his report ‘Autonomy in Agriculture,’ and the final presentation of the group was Katy Lee’s ‘New and emerging technologies in agriculture: What’s standing in the way?’
After a brief pause for questions from the floor, the second group commenced with their presentations; Joanne Nash opened the group with her presentation reporting on ‘Inspection visits of value: Welfare of man and beast.’ Kate Morgan then presented ‘An examination of high welfare systems within the pork industry.’ The group was closed by Jack Clayton who reported on ‘Modernising the game industry’.
‘Why are you farming – business or pleasure’ was the title of Timothy McClelland’s Nuffield who opened the group following the lunch break. Caroline Millar followed with her presentation on ‘Selling the farming experience’. The group was closed by David Wynne Finch who reported on ‘People and collaborative farming.’
The final group of the day was opened by Robert Burtonshaw with his report titled, ‘Land drainage and its role in farming’s future.’ He was followed by Gareth Davies who presented ‘Pasture utilisation – yield from the field’. The final presentation of the day was presented by Elin Wyn Jones ‘Diversification for the family dairy farm: is now the time to be more cheesy?’
After a short tea break, delegates were welcomed back into the Castle Suite for the presentation of Awards to the newly appointed 2014 Scholars with their Sponsors, presented by The Rt. Hon Carwyn Jones AM, First Minister of Wales. He addressed the Conference, praising the work of Nuffield Scholarships for shaping the leaders of the future. Following the presentation, the 2013 UK Global Focus Programme Award was presented to 2013 Scholar Jamie McCoy.
Over 400 delegates went on to enjoy a fantastic three course meal at the Vale Resort, during which time the Steven and Gill Bullock Award for Nuffield Innovation was presented to Donald MacPherson, a 2002 Scholar who studied ‘Improving the quality of beef; how the industry can guarantee the consumer that the beef they buy will be tender and tasty’.
Day two of the Conference was opened at 10.00am by Nuffield Vice-Chairman Wallace Hendrie. Charles Harrison started proceedings with ‘Keeping up with the Johne’s: practical opportunities for the control of Johne’s disease in dairy cattle.’ His report was followed by, ‘How to succeed in dairy farming: attitude determines altitude,’ presented by Joe Delves. The third dairy report of the group was presented by Heather Wildman, ‘Influencing and motivating change: have dairy discussion groups had their day?’
The sixth and final group of the Conference was opened by Ed Green who reported on ‘How beef production can adapt to changes in global demand in global food culture.’ Robert Craig followed with his report entitled, ‘The true cost of cheap food’. The final report of the 2013 Conference was presented by Robert Hodgkins, ‘Sheep Genomics: the future of profitable performance prediction.’
Following the final group a short presentation of awards followed. Stephen Watkins, Nuffield Chairman announced the winner of the HSBC Silver Salver Award for the best 2011 Nuffield report as Jez Ralph who studied ‘Maximising timber value for woodland owners in England’. He was presented his award by Euryn Jones of HSBC. The John Stewart Shield for the Best Presentation at the 2013 Conference was awarded to Joe Delves. The judges Emma Penny (Farmers Guardian Editor) and Helen Woolley (Nuffield Trustee) commented that once again the standard of presentations was extremely high and how they’d both thoroughly enjoyed judging the Award.
The 2013 Scholar reports are available from the Nuffield International website http://www.nuffieldinternational.org/ and the videos of the presentations will be available shortly. The Nuffield Trust is incredibly grateful to all of the Award Sponsors who have supported Scholars and to the Conference Sponsors who made the event possible. Particular thanks is given to Farming Connect and the Welsh Government for their generous sponsorship of top-quality sound, lighting, filming and translation services. The Trust is also very grateful to Aled Griffiths, 1974 Scholar for his assistance with gaining sponsorship.
Thanks also to the Welsh organising committee who successfully organised a fantastic conference.