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    Your Farm Matters conference

    Posted 26 November 2010

    L-R The delegates are Paul Horton, Steven Corfield, Ralph Early, Dr Barrie Florey and Niall Blackie.

    Farmers and landowners were invited to the Your Farm Matters Conference at Harper Adams University College to hear about how they can improve their businesses and learn more about topical issues from industry experts.

    The conference was held this week at the West Midlands Regional Food Academy (WMRFA) at the Shropshire based campus in partnership with FBC Manby Bowdler Solicitors.

    The 70 visitors had the chance to network and were also treated to talks from several influential speakers.

    Dr Barrie Florey, Head of Rural Affairs and Environment at Harper Adams, opened the event and welcomed guests.

    He said: “Thanks to many of you that have worked with and been involved with Harper over the years, in all manner of ways – guests, speakers, host farmers etc.

    “It is greatly appreciated and allows the learning process to be kept alive with the different factions of industry working closely with academia.

    “The conference aims to address some of the issues facing the industry. An industry where business cost management and profitability is vital to secure long term business viability.

    “We will see as we progress through the afternoon that issues such as food security, economic change, law and taxation all have key roles in the sustainability of a healthy farm business.”

    Presentations on the concept of food security, economic sustainability, farming in a changing economic climate and town and country planning issues were all given throughout the afternoon among others.

    Speakers included Steven Corfield, partner and Head of Agricultural Services at FBC Manby Bowdler, Ralph Early, Director of the (WMRFA) and Head of Food at Harper Adams and Paul Horton, a commercial litigation partner at FMC Manby Bowdler.

    Dr Barry Florey also spoke as well as Niall Blackie, Partner and Head of Town and Country Planning at FBC Manby Bowdler.

    He said: “The farming community needs to plan ahead to secure the best development value for their land and to think creatively.

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