Cultivate is a new conference aiming to take a business-led approach to the emerging challenges facing agriculture.
As media partner for the inaugural event, Farmers Guardian looks ahead to what it has to offer.
Farming has rarely faced a more challenging period than at present.
Whether it is the added uncertainty of Brexit or the tough weather conditions many have faced this autumn, the challenge of making a profit from agriculture remains as great as ever.
But the sector also offers huge opportunities for those who want to grasp them.
This is why Andy Venables and Simon Haley have joined forces to launch Cultivate, a new conference taking place on January 29, 2020, at Heaton House Farm, Macclesfield, Cheshire, which aims to inspire attendees to drive their businesses forward.
For both Mr Venables, who is managing director of Hillsgreen marketing and runs a large dairy farm in partnership with his parents in Cheshire, and Mr Haley, director of farm consultancy business SRH Agribusiness, now is the right time to launch Cultivate.
Here, they look ahead to the event.
Q What is Cultivate and how will it differ from usual conferences?
A AV: Cultivate is a modern, business conference for the rural and agricultural sectors.
We are calling it a growth summit, as it is for those in the sector who want to be challenged to drive their enterprises forward, learn core business skills and be inspired from successful rural entrepreneurs and motivational speakers.
Q What has inspired you to put this event on?
A SH: We feel there is nothing on the conference and show circuit which focuses exclusively on the business side of farming.
With our backgrounds and experience rooted in marketing and business consultancy, we have a passion in driving this message home to our clients and, therefore, we hope Cultivate will inspire others to innovate, collaborate and push themselves and their businesses forward.
Q Why have you chosen the speakers and format you have?
A AV: We wanted this event to be about quality speakers, not quantity. As such, the morning session is very business-focused with two experienced professional speakers focusing on the art of delegation and highly effective leadership tendencies.
The afternoon will be focused on hearing from two rural entrepreneurs who have addressed challenges and opportunities head on and now run multi-million-pound turnover enterprises.
Around this, there will also be two ‘mastermind sessions’, where there is the opportunity for attendees to be challenged by others on their business and assess strategies which could be implemented to further business growth.
Q Do you foresee the need for a change of business mindset within agriculture?
A SH: Every farm is a business and having a business mindset is essential.
Change is constant and agriculture has been through a lot of change over recent years, whether influenced by political, regulatory, weather or financial factors.
A business plan should be commonplace, as well as monitoring against it and having the ability to react and adapt accordingly.
■ When: January 29, 2020
■ Time: Registration from 8am
■ Where: Heaton House Farm, Macclesfield, Cheshire, SK11 0RD
■ Price: Early bird tickets can be bought until December 15 at a cost of £150 plus VAT (£175 plus VAT thereafter). Multi-buy tickets are £125 plus VAT at the early bird rate and £150 plus VAT thereafter.
MORE INFORMATION cultivateconference.co.uk