Last week, on Thursday 5 November, the annual Jersey Farming Conference took place. It was organised by Farm Jersey, and sponsored by Jersey Water and Islands Insurance.
The programme was as follows:
* Opening address by Senator Lyndon Farnham, Minister for Economic Development, Tourism, Sport and Culture (delivered in his absence by John Vautier, assistant director / Economy)
* Geraint Richards, Head Forester, Duchy of Cornwall
* Professor Nicola Spence, Chief Plant Health Officer and Deputy Director Plant and Bee Health, Varieties & Seeds, Animal & Plant, Health & Welfare
* Jim Wilson, managing director ‘SoilEssentials’
* Philip Clarke, executive editor, Farmers Weekly
* Deputy Gregory Guida, Assistant Minister for the Environment
* Nigel Penlington, Nigel Penlington Consulting
* Piers Sangan MCMA, Director and Ecologist at Sangan Island Conservation
* Paul Hammett, National Farmers Union, National Specialist (water resources)
Thumb-nail biographies of the speakers can be found at the conference website: www.jerseyfarmingconference.com
With the exception of the opening address, a short speech by Deputy Guida and the presentation by Piers Sangan, all the speakers were based in the UK and so their contributions were via video link. The delegates who were actually attending the conference numbered only 45, so as to comply with Covid social distancing restrictions, but a far greater number followed the conference remotely – including two from as far away as Ghana.
This pattern could be the shape of things to come for the future, according to Farm Jersey director, John Garton. It could enable speakers from every part of the world to take part and likewise for the conference to be followed by a far wider number of participants than those who actually reside in Jersey and can attend the conference in person.
On the RURAL magazine website, the presentations will be included as soon as is practical, ‘signposted’, as usual, by the RURAL POST e-mail newsletter. We make a start with Senator Farnham’s opening address and the contributions from the Head Forrester of the Duchy of Cornwall, Geraint Richards and Philip Clarke, executive editor of Farmers Weekly.