South East Future of Farming Event 2023: Book now

Plumpton College, the CLA and Virgin Money collaborating on free event: "Driving productivity and profitability in a sustainable way"
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Plumpton College will host this new event, which features a keynote speech from Martin Lines, Chair of the Nature Friendly Farming Network

To celebrate the opening of the new Agrifood Centre at Plumpton College, the Country Land and Business Association (CLA) and Virgin Money are partnering with the college to host a future of farming event on Thursday 20th April 2023, from 3pm to 7pm.

The keynote speakers and workshops will provide practical-based solutions for farmers and landowners, with a clear focus on driving productivity and profitability in a sustainable way.

Jeremy Kerswell, Principal of Plumpton College, said: “Plumpton has a pivotal role to play in the future of our land-based industries and not only through our training of new entrants, but in our work with existing farmers and landowners.

“Our new Agrifood Centre has been built to be the hub the industry needs in the South East in which people can come together, share, learn and take away practical solutions for their own businesses. This inaugural event is the perfect launch pad, with a range of contributors all offering their own perspective on the future of British farming in these important times.”

The event will be chaired by Emily Norton, Head of Rural Research at Savills, with the following keynote speakers:

  • Martin Lines, farmer and chair of the Nature Friendly Farming Network
  • Brian Richardson, Head of Agriculture Virgin Money
  • Susan Twining, Chief Land Use Policy Adviser

This will be followed by a panel Q+A, chaired by Emily Norton, and breakout workshops led by the following experts:

  • James and Emma Loder-Symonds, Nonington Farms
  • Ian Salmon, Plumpton College
  • Professor Michael Lee, Harper Adams
  • James Smith, Loddington Farms

To conclude the event there will be the opportunity for delegates to network and enjoy produce from the Plumpton Estate.

CLA South East represents thousands of farmers, landowners and rural businesses across the region. Regional Director Tim Bamford said: “The CLA is delighted to be supporting this conference at such an important time for farming.

“With the industry constantly evolving, we look forward to hearing from a diverse range of experts and case studies highlighting how we can farm sustainably for the long-term health of the environment and rural economy.”

Tickets for this event are free and the deadline for booking is Friday 14th April. For further details and to book tickets visit:

With support from Virgin Money, the hub has been purpose-built to host and connect rural communities and businesses across the South East for training, education, networking, and events.

Brian Richardson, Head of UK Agriculture, Virgin Money, said of the event: “This is a turbulent time for the farming sector as support mechanisms change post Brexit and the wider economy is dealing with record inflation levels.

“It’s critical for all farmers to look at how their own businesses can adapt to remain successful in the future, and the conference and workshops will provide valuable insights on how to approach this. Given the central role it plays in agriculture and rural business in the South of England, it is great that we have Plumpton College hosting this event and I very much look forward to taking part.”

How to book

Spaces are free for CLA members and non-members but must be booked in advance - click here.

If you are struggling to book online please call the CLA South East office on 01264 313434 and the team will be happy to assist.

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The CLA is partnering with Plumpton College and Virgin Money for this free event.