The team at SOPA are getting ready for this year’s Livestock in Low Input Systems conference, and we’re excited to share this year’s speakers and event programme with you.
The theme of this year’s conference is going to be “Farming for Lifestyle“. Our keynote speaker, Andre van Barneveld of Graise Consultancy fits in well with one of his belief that 3 of the greatest assets on farm are soil health, animal health/resistance and mental health.
Andre’s presentation will be focussing on business resilience. After a terrible spring, there is a fair amount of stress around at present and Andre’s talk will cover profitability, efficiency and how to integrate wellbeing for the people who are part of the farm ecosystem, if you view the farm holistically it is an ecosystem comprising people, animals, plants and soil. The drivers of profit and managing time, infrastructure, efficiency.
The second speaker at this year’s event is Andrea Walker, co-host of LILIS 2018. Andrea’s talk will focus on being a woman in the agricultural industry. The key to Charley and Andrea’s success at Barnside is teamwork, and at LILIS Andrea will outline her philosophy to being a career woman in agriculture.
Our final speaker is Charley Walker, co-host farmer of LILIS 2018. Charley will outline how data collection has been an essential management tool at Barnside.
An open and independent thinker, Charley is most content when challenging the ‘usual’ way of doing things, and spends a lot of time thinking creatively about how to simplify his livestock management and still drive profit for the business. Charley strives for new knowledge, having spent 2007 on a Nuffield Scholarship exploring the challenges of labour, genetics and capital to livestock enterprises.
Charley is a big fan of sharing knowledge through discussion groups and collecting farm data, which has led to strictly controlled genetics and a paddock grazing system at Barnside.
We hope that delegates will go home with more confidence and acceptance that it is ok to look after themselves by spending time with family and friends, to have a social life and holidays, and that balance is the key: balance between people, livestock, plants and soil.
The theme Farming for Lifestyle won’t be portrayed flippantly, but if we can share some knowledge about financial resilience and making farm management simpler and easier, then it will naturally follow that lifestyle can be improved.
The programme will run as follows:
10am SOPA AGM for SOPA members
10.30am Tea and coffee welcome for LILIS delegates
11.00am Farm tour starts, led by the Walker Family.
1pm Networking Lunch along the same lines as 2017
2pm Keynote speaker Andre van Barneveld
3pm Andrea Walker – Woman in Agriculture
3.15pm Charley Walker – Facts give us the Figures
3.30pm Open Q&A
4pm Close of conference (may be 4.30pm if Q&A is valuable and ongoing)
Chair for the day is Alec Brewster of Rotmell Farm, Dunkeld.