Posted 13 September
"Taking our work from Harper into the community emphasises our dedication to practical impact. It showcases our commitment to share knowledge, fostering real-world applications, and strengthening ties with the agricultural community and policy makers."
A newly-established Shropshire Food and Farming conference will feature the insight of a range of Harper Adams experts this weekend.
The Marches Real Food and Farming Conference takes place at Partridge Farm on the Linley Estate, near Bishop’s Castle, and aims to develop a resilient and regenerative food future for the Marches and the wider county of Shropshire.
The conference draws upon the wisdom of people involved in the food system across the region and features sessions ranging from national policy to ways in which farmers are directly working on the soil beneath their feet.
Among the Harper Adams academics chairing sessions during the Conference will be Dr Iona Huang and Dr Julia Casperd, alongside other colleagues including Future Farm Executive Project and Programme Consultant Scott Kirby, Associate Head of the Department for Food, Land and Agribusiness Management, Nigel Hill, and Postdoctoral Researcher Dr Ana M Natalio.
Dr Huang will be chairing a session on Friday titled Funding opportunities for English Farmers.
The session will feature insights from: Manjeet Kumari-Lal, Head of Engagement at DEFRA, who will present on funding options from DEFRA's viewpoint and Wayne Davies from Catchment Sensitive Farming/Natural England, who will discuss items within the Strategic Finance Initiative (SFI) and Countryside Stewardship funding systems that align with regenerative farming.
Mr Davies will highlight the land-based options in SFI and the capital components available through Countryside Stewardship.
During the session, Alison Jones, the Farming in Protected Landscapes (FiPL) Advisor at Shropshire AONB, will also share her expertise on FiPL funding opportunities and Harper Adams University’s Nigel Hill will provide a farmers’ perspective, shedding light on what decisions farmers made during the Landscape Recovery Pilot and sharing lessons learned from the application process.
Dr Huang added: “The session will be most beneficial for farmers and farming advisers keen on understanding upcoming funding opportunities and making effective funding applications.”
Meanwhile, Dr Casperd will chair the Carbon and Farming: Reducing emissions, increasing sequestration & measuring change session.
The session a panel discussion with Kate Mayne of North Shropshire Farmers, Scott Kirby from Harper Adams University, Emma Adams from the Farm Carbon Toolkit and Louise Rix from Trinity AgTech.
The panel will explore ways Shropshire can reduce its carbon emissions, increase carbon sequestration and how it may measure changes in a wide range of farming habitats and operations.
Dr Casperd said: “There is a fantastic line up for Shropshire Good Food's first conference. It is an apt follow on from our own Paludiculture symposium and conference, which runs over the two days before the event.”
And Dr Huang added: "Taking our work from Harper into the community emphasises our dedication to practical impact. It showcases our commitment to share knowledge, fostering real-world applications, and strengthening ties with the agricultural community and policy makers.
“It bridges the gap between academic insights and actionable farming practices.”