New Defra Secretary Liz Truss to speak at Hexham Auction Mart

Northern Farming Conference to hear plans for supporting farming industry, after latest CAP negotiations

Stefan Rousseau/PA Wire Liz Truss
Liz Truss

Newly appointed Defra Secretary Liz Truss has been confirmed as the keynote speaker at this year’s Northern Farming Conference at Hexham Auction Mart on Wednesday, November 12.

The Norfolk MP, who replaced Owen Paterson in a surprise cabinet reshuffle earlier this month, will head the line-up of nine farmers and industry experts speaking at the event, which is based on the theme of ‘Which Way Forward’?

Conference Chairman Andrew Robinson said: “We are delighted to welcome the new secretary of state to our conference and very much looking forward to hearing her plans for supporting and developing the farming industry following the latest round of CAP negotiations.”

Ms Truss (38), a former education minister, is the youngest member of the new cabinet.

She comes to the Defra post with first-hand experience of flooding, which has been a problem in her constituency. She has also voiced concerns about the implementation of CAP reform, the use of agricultural land for solar or biomass plants and the subsidies provided for these operations.

Also confirmed for the conference is award-winning farmer Richard Price of Lowther Park Farms, Cumbria, who will be speaking about identifying business risks and farm restructuring. Price, who was the 2013 Farmers Weekly Farm Manager of the Year, successfully transformed the failing 1,292ha in-hand farming operation at the Lowther Estate in to a profit-making business.

Now in its fifth year, the Northern Farming Conference aims to give forward thinking farmers the chance to consider how best to progress their businesses.

Previous venues have included Newcastle Racecourse and Hardwick Hall Hotel in Sedgefield.

Mr Robinson added: “This year’s conference is shaping up to be one of the best yet.

“In just a few years it has established itself as the north’s leading event for farmers to share successful business strategies and find out about the latest industry developments.”

The Northern Farming Conference is a joint venture between the CLA, Strutt &Parker, Bond Dickinson, Armstrong Watson, Catchment Sensitive Farming and Gibson & Co Solicitors.

For more information, please visit: www.northernfarmingconference.org.uk or telephone 01748 907070.

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