Posted 14 March
“It was a pleasure to welcome Mark Tufnell to the campus today to speak with the University community at a time of enormous change for the land based sector."
Students at Harper Adams University have heard how a leading business organisation has worked to make its case to Government in a guest lecture by the President of the Country Land & Business Association (CLA).
The lecture was a welcome return to the Harper Adams campus for CLA President Mark Tufnell, who last visited the University a decade ago.
The Country Land and Business Association is a membership organisation for owners of land, property and businesses in rural England and Wales. The CLA exists to champion, protect and enhance the rural economy, environment and way of life and aspires to unlock the potential of the rural economy by promoting innovative ideas to a national audience and providing practical support to its members.
During his visit, Mr Tufnell toured the campus before delivering a talk in the Foulkes Crowther lecture theatre about the way his organisation is working to make sure the CLA’s Rural Powerhouse campaign is seen by key opinion formers and policy makers.
The campaign aims to boost productivity rurally, unleashing the potential of the rural economy to create more skilled jobs and stronger communities.
Mr Tufnell said: “It’s great to be here. My tour this morning has shown me that a lot has changed since my last visit around 10 years ago - you’ve got many more buildings, and previously I didn’t get a chance to go and look at the pig unit, the sheep and the dairy that you have, which is great to see.”
Trained as a chartered accountant, Mr Tufnell also owns and manages his 2,000-acre family farm in the Cotswolds. The farm is predominately arable, incorporating important conservation measures for wildlife and biodiversity. Before becoming President, he had been actively involved in the CLA for more than 20 years at branch and regional level, before chairing several committees, including the Business and Rural Economy committee and the Agriculture and Land Use committee.
Dr Mark Simcock, who welcomed Mr Tufnell to Harper Adams said: “It was a pleasure to welcome Mark Tufnell to the campus today to speak with the University community at a time of enormous change for the land based sector. Mark set out clearly the CLA vision for transforming the rural economy by setting out their proposals to address the rural productivity gap by investing in rural infrastructure, skills development, rural planning, tax and the agricultural transition.
"Mark was also able to explain the challenges in making effective change by reference to the lobbying work that the CLA carry out on behalf of its members. His comments were well received by those who gathered to listen and were followed up with some excellent questions from our students”