The Agriculture Conference welcomed over 160 delegates and industry specialists to explore ‘Advances in Landscape Management’

On Wednesday 24th January we welcomed over one hundred and sixty delegates and industry specialists from all corners of the agriculture sector, to the Auden Theatre for our second annual Agriculture Conference. Included in the delegates were eighty five pupils from Cromer Academy, Sheringham High School, Reepham High School, Stalham High School, Norwich School, University Technical College Norfolk and Aylsham High School.

The theme was ‘Advances in Landscape Management’ and, after the conference was formally opened by North Norfolk MP, Duncan Baker, delegates heard inspiring talks on the historical journey that UK agriculture has taken, the current state of play with UK agriculture, the role that large companies who support the sector play and on specific, innovative case studies. The Q & A session with a panel inspired some insightful discussion and gave a real feel for what young people entering the industry want and need to learn more about.

Delegates were also given the opportunity to explore what organizations that support young people in the sector, such as the RNAA, TIAH and the NFU, offer and then took part in an interactive workshop with contributions from a diverse range of twenty five industry specialists. The day was run as a conference from the professional world and pupils were encouraged to move out of their friendship groups, and comfort zones, throughout and to network with peers from other schools and with the professionals in attendance. Opportunities for this important skill development happened throughout the day but, as at most conferences, coffee/refreshment breaks and lunch were where some really inspiring conversations were to be heard showcasing the maturity and drive of some of our pupils and pupils from all around the county.

Mr Beales, Head of Agriculture at Gresham’s, said ‘It’s wonderful to see so many pupils from the local area with a passion for agriculture, many of which will go on to have thriving roles and careers working in and shaping the agriculture industry.’

Mrs Osborne, head of Careers, said ‘It was superb for the Agriculture and Careers departments to work together with the agriculture employment sector and local schools careers leaders to give the opportunity to so many pupils who have a strong interest in agriculture to learn about the history of agriculture, the changes and future development. It is absolutely key to reach out to the next generation through subject and careers learning, and employment engagement.’

Gresham’s would like to thank all of the industry specialists who gave up their time to attend and support but in particular we would like to thank the Clan Trust, BASF, Farmacy and Albanwise Farming and Environmental Services for their support in facilitating the attendance of so many pupils from schools outside of Gresham’s. See you all in 2025!