Presentations at the Nuffield Farming ‘Super’ Conference, held in Exeter last week, highlighted the importance of knowledge sharing and collaboration to address challenges faced by the industry.

The conference saw over 30 Nuffield Farming Scholars present the findings of their study on a wide range of topics spanning the food, farming, horticultural, and rural industries. Some key themes covered during the two-day conference included sustainability, regenerative agriculture, mental health, and the public perception of agriculture.

“We were delighted to have our largest ever group of Scholars present at the 2023 Nuffield Farming Conference,” says Mike Vacher, director of the Nuffield Farming Scholarships Trust.

“The standard of this year’s presentations was extremely high with a number of our Scholars providing forward-thinking and industry-leading recommendations based on their study findings. With nearly 400 delegates in attendance, the ‘Super’ conference certainly lived up to its name.”

Nuffield Farming partnered with AHDB as the principal sponsor of this year’s conference. ‘’We were delighted to partner with Nuffield by sponsoring this year’s conference,” says Nicholas Saphir, Chair of AHDB. “It lived up to all of our expectations and reinforced the importance of collaboration, and sharing knowledge and experience as we face challenging times.’’

Mike Vacher was also awarded an Honorary Nuffield Scholarship in recognition of a decade of working with the Trust. He will step down from his role at the end of 2023 and will be succeeded by Rupert Alers-Hankey.

The Northern Farmer: Nuffield 2023

During the conference, several other awards were also presented:

  • The 2023 Steven and Gillian Bullock Award was awarded to two recipients for the first time: Jen Hunter NSch 2014 and Robert Neill NSch 2013. This award recognises a Nuffield Scholar judged to have done the most with their Nuffield experience 10 years after completing their Scholarship.
  • The 2023 Frank Arden Leadership Award was awarded to Rob Burtonshaw NSch 2012. The winner of this award is deemed to have the potential to hold a wider leadership role within British Agriculture and receives funding to take part in a Windsor Leadership Trust course.
  • The John Stewart Shield is awarded for the best Scholar presentation at the Nuffield Farming Conference. For the first time ever, it was awarded to two presenting Scholars:
  • Anna Bowen NSch 2021: Cow calf contact: dairy’s ethical future
  • Helen Wyman NSch 2022: Mentoring: A mechanism for driving positive change in UK agriculture.

All Scholar presentations from the 2023 Nuffield Farming Conference have now been published on the Trust’s YouTube channel here.

The 2024 Nuffield Farming Conference will be held in Belfast on November 19-21, 2024 at several iconic locations throughout the city. Belfast 2024 is not just restricted to Scholars and is open to anyone with an interest in attending. Ticketing and other information will be made available in 2024.