Oxfordshire farmer, journalist and Member of the Guild, Tom Allen-Stevens, is one of three new directors of the Oxford Farming Conference, held in the first week of January.
Tom, together with former Guild member Will Surman, who worked for Farmers Guardian and the NFU in Brussels during his career, and rural solicitor Julie Robinson of Raythornes, will help steer the event and its associated activities from January 2016 onwards.
Commenting on the three appointments, Al Brooks, Chairman of the 2016 Oxford Farming Conference said: “Our new directors bring a great diversity of experience and contacts to the OFC, they are all hugely passionate about the sector.”
Tom Allen-Stevens declared himself “delighted” to be appointed a director: “It’s been an ambition for many years. The conference is one of the key occasions in the farming calendar, and much of what is set out by politicians, industry experts and leading farmers at Oxford is then played out in the ensuing months; that’s why I’ve attended this conference for over 20 years and drawn great value from it.”
Current directors also include farm tourism entrepreneur Caroline Millar, who helped successfully deliver the Guild’s IFAJ Congress in 2014, and Charlotte Smith, writer, broadcaster and BBC Farming Today presenter.
The OFC Council is made up of nine people who work with the rest of the team to deliver the conference programme, speakers and the wider activities now linked to the OFC, such as the Arable Conference at the Cereals Event and the OFC/RASE Practice with Science Award.
Other Members of the Guild involved with the OFC include associate director Milly Fyfe, who was appointed to support development of the new OFC Scholars programme; Andy Newbold, whose Farm Smart Events agency provides the professional secretariat; and Jane Craigie, who is responsible for OFC marketing, media relations and the OFC website.