A selection of Harper Adams students recently attended the Oxford Farming Conference to discuss and learn more about the current climate in agriculture. Discussing themes around the new Agriculture Bill, the conference centred around the political meat debate, searching science, politics and ecology for ways to sustain British farming.
We spoke to final year agriculture students Annie Metcalfe, Tanis Slattery-Penfold, and Daisy Green (L-R) about the event and how they found the experience attending the Oxford Farming Conference for the first time. "The whole event was focused and relevant," Annie commented, "as the stance of the conference was cemented in the knowledge that, while there is negative media circulating about the farming industry, we do care about both agriculture and the environment, and we are trying to make a difference."
Daisy agreed saying, "There was a big focus on the environment and developing ways that agriculture can become more sustainable. It's encouraging to hear agriculture is backing the effort to become more sustainable, especially now with the Agriculture Bill reforms. It will be really interesting to see how things will change as the next stage of agriculture develops."
The event hosted several different speakers from across disciplines, each talking about how their area of knowledge that will feed into the discussion of sustainability. Tanis explained how Henry Dimbleby's explanation of the timeline of events within agriculture up to this moment was a great springboard of understanding, saying how "seeing the connection between agriculture and our health has opened my eyes to all kinds of difference policies; there are so many career opportunities that intersect with my studies that I didn't know about before."
Along with this, all three agreed that Alice Stanton delivered an impressive discussion piece. Talking about food quality and its relation to human health, Staton discussed increasing population and how animal food sources are not as bad for us as the media may make them seem. To see the statistics from Professor Stanton's talk, click here.
The topic of food was discussed by the students while networking. Annie commented how it was an excellent arena to be "exposed to new opinions" that have informed her engagement with her studies; overall however, she is "pleased to be going into an industry where we are trying hard to do the right thing.
"People will always need to eat food; this is an industry that people need. Being at the Oxford Farming Conference has only made me more aware of what is being done to be more sustainable and environmentally friendly going forward."
Should you be interested in studying agriculture here with us at Harper Adams, you can find out more here.