Land-based challenges and opportunities for rural businesses will be explored at an event next month.

Farmers and wider industry professionals are invited along to the event, entitled ‘Learning Through Land: A Confluence’. Held by the Yorkshire Food Farming and Rural Network at the Great Yorkshire Showground in Harrogate on Monday, March 11, and sponsored by Grow Yorkshire, it will provide insights into innovative ways for rural businesses to diversify their income at a time of great change in British agriculture.

The Yorkshire Food Farming and Rural Network is supported by the Yorkshire Agricultural Society. Part of the Network’s role is to host events to inspire new horizons and showcase emerging opportunities for food, farming and rural businesses.

The Northern Farmer: Learning Through Land takes place at Pavilions of Harrogate on March 11

Madge Moore, chair of the network, said: “It has been a sobering start to 2024 for rural businesses affected by a sustained period of wet weather. In the Humber and East Yorkshire region, broad estimates are that up to £3m worth of crops may have been lost to flooding. It serves as a stark reminder of the climate change challenge we face and must mitigate and adapt to, whilst at the same time making changes to best capitalise on the Government’s new agricultural policies.

“This may sound daunting but there are significant opportunities to explore, to spread a business’s exposure to risk; to adapt, survive and thrive. You could say these environmental and financial challenges have created a confluence; a meeting of factors that send us in a new direction, so, this is a period of opportunity too.”

The Yorkshire Food Farming and Rural Network’s Learning Through Land event will be a chance to hear about some of the ways rural businesses can explore new markets and opportunities.

Taking place between 9.30am and 2pm, including lunch and refreshments, the event will share knowledge on land-based opportunities, energy efficiency and food supply chain solutions.

A panel of speakers includes David Kerfoot, chair of the Fix Our Food Commission, the Earl of Swinton Mark Cunliffe-Lister of Swinton Park Estate, Sue Jefferson, co-founder and director of Circular Malton & Norton CIC, Andy Howard from CSX Carbon, Bruce Heppenstall from Drax Power Station, and Lisa Howkins from NFU Energy.

Delegates will also be invited to join a series of breakout sessions focused on key topics: food and policy, farming and new markets, and rural and energy.

Tickets are £30 and attendance is open to all who work in food, farming, and rural businesses and organisations, as well as government representatives, industry advisors and community representatives.

For more details and to book a place, visit