As the conclusion of our centenary celebrations, we are bringing together leading figures in the agriculture world for a conference to explore how science in farming can be used to secure a sustainable future for the industry, the environment and business profitability.

The 100 Years of Agricultural Education and Training Conference is being held on Thursday 27 November 2014 from 9.30am to 3.00pm with Keynote speakers at the event including the Earl of Selborne, Lord Curry of Kirkharle and David Gardener.

Tim Jackson, Sparsholt College Principal said: “We have pulled together some of the leading figures in the world of agriculture to lead the discussion regarding the great opportunities and significant challenges facing the industry.

“We, ourselves, are celebrating 100 years of agricultural education and training and during that time have seen and experienced unprecedented change. We are looking forward to hearing from these experts and see how the industry needs to harness technology and science and future requirements for workforce knowledge, understanding and skills.”

Throughout his career the Earl of Selborne, has been a leading light in agriculture research. He has sat on a number of Parliamentary Committees and is currently chair of the Science and Technology Committee in the House of Lords. His presentation, Science into Practice, will review the staggering developments that have enabled farmers to keep pace with modern practices.

Lord Curry of Kirkharle has been described as a champion of British farming, renowned for leading the way forward in taking farming out of the decline in 80s and 90s and addressing the social, economic and environmental agenda needed to transform the farming industry. He was commissioned by the then Prime Minister Tony Blair to analyse the foot and mouth disaster which resulted in the report, Farming and Food: A Sustainable Future, published in 2002. He went on to chair the Sustainable Food and Farming Strategy Group until 2009.

Lord Curry’s presentation, Skills, Past, Present and Future, will explore the varying demands facing the industry today, the versatility of those coming into the sector and how this impacts on the requirements of the workforce.

The Royal Agricultural Society of England CEO, David Gardener, believes there are three areas of innovation which will drive change: genetics, soil science and automation. His Future Prospects presentation offers a vision of where agricultural research and technologies will take the industry by the middle of this century.

As the Principal of one of the country’s leading land-based colleges and Chair of Landex, Tim Jackson is best placed to conclude the presentations on a piece which looks at Skilling the Future Workforce.

The 100 Years of Agricultural Education and Training Conference is the ideal opportunity for anyone working in agriculture to hear the latest thinking from the industry experts. Entrance is free and comes with a complimentary lunch, although donations are appreciated for Hampshire Country Learning. Please RSVP to Principal’s PA, Sue Licence, or 01962 797222 to book a place.