From Brexit to finance: Over 400 Lincolnshire farmers meet challenges head on at annual conference

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More than 400 representatives of the farming community came together at the annual Lincolnshire Farming Conference to discuss the challenging times ahead from finance to Brexit.

Held at the Lincolnshire Showground on February 28, the conference saw a range of speakers including Kelly Hewson-Fisher from Anglian Water who spoke about the importance of water management to NFU Vice President Guy Smith, who looked at what lies ahead for the farming industry in Lincolnshire.

A panel, consisting of Alex Olivant, Assistant Farm Business Consultant with the Active Business Partnership and Alex Richardson and Alice Cannon Agronomists with Farmacy PLC, took questions from the audience about the opportunities and challenges of gaining more interest from young people to enter the field.

Graham Redman, Partner at The Andersons Centre, spoke about what risks should and should not be taken in order to improve business, including ‘understanding things fully before taking the next step.’

He explained that with an uncertain future, businesses must do everything they can that is in their control.

Graham said: “I hope people can now think about the risk that they are prepared to take, thinking about the level of risk they are exposing themselves to and if they are taking a greater risk, they are doing it because there is a prospect of a greater return in exchange.

“Key issues are different for every farm business and of course we don’t know exactly what’s going to happen in the coming months. But it’s thinking about which part of your business can do better.

“The answer is actually every part of your business can do better.

“The difference between a good farmer and a poor farmer is not one thing, but they are just generally that bit better at everything they do.”

Jayne Southall, Chief Executive at Lincolnshire Showground, said: “The Lincolnshire Farming Conference has been a great success, with more attendees than ever and a whole host of interesting and knowledgeable speakers.

“I particularly enjoyed the stories of the three young people in agriculture, and we’ve received lots of positive feedback for bringing a different perspective to the discussions around the industry and its future.

“As the Lincolnshire Agricultural Society, it’s important for us to support our farmers and especially those early in their careers as they are vital in continuing Lincolnshire’s legacy.”