This week the Farmerama team will be at the 11th Oxford Real Farming Conference (8-9 January), where we are excited to be the official media partner. This is a highlight in the calendar every year, and a chance to share so many stories of hope for the future of our food and farming, and to meet and reconnect with the people behind a new regenerative paradigm – those instigating change for a better future for all.
As extreme weather events capture global attention again this month, conflicting views and opinions are cast on the future of agriculture and its role in the climate crisis, and as we undergo an independent review of our entire food system, it could not be a more poignant time for ORFC.
20/20 is the year for clarity of vision. Now is the time and the place for radical discussion about the future of our food, our farming, our environment, and our health. To follow are a few of the topics we’re looking forward to covering.
Regenerative agriculture as a part of the solution to the climate crisis. A key challenge we face today is getting people to believe that we are part of a natural world. We must acknowledge that we are part of the ecosystem and embrace regenerative farming to ensure that we nurture the habitat we live in.
Regenerative agriculture has the promise of rebuilding thriving ecosystems, providing clean water, producing nutrient dense food, preventing flooding/superfires, not to mention the added benefit of sinking carbon below ground. It could also mean more and more people become inspired by farming and want to be involved.
We are also excited to learn about people working to build new definitions of success, new approaches to land ownership and business models that are regenerative by their very makeup. The economic and business structures that have served many people for the last few centuries are based on the extractive mindset which doesn’t fit with our new regenerative paradigm.
What are the business structures and social change we need to build regenerative agriculture that truly serves people and planet, not just lining the pockets of shareholders? The talks looking at land ownership and alternative ownership models/succession plans really speak to this, as do discussions of land ownership across racial divides.
We’re looking forward to seeing the many friends from our latest series, CEREAL, where we spoke to the British farmers who’d become disillusioned with modern wheat varieties and commodity crops, and discovered the benefits of growing heritage varieties using regenerative agriculture methods. Many are speaking on panels about the new grains movement and alternative models and supply networks they’ve created.
Championing biodiversity was a big part of our last series, and we’ll explore this in more detail at ORFC looking a biodiversity in practice – from Agroforestry to Silvopasture as well as diversity of people on the land.
Of course, we’re interested to hear more about animal farming as a key part of regenerative agriculture too. So expect a lot to come!
With tickets selling out in record time this year, it’s great to see this community of farmers, activists, scientists, lawyers and producers gain serious momentum. To us, these people are the real game changers!
The OFRC team has done a brilliant job pulling together a hugely comprehensive and very relevant programme. Most importantly there are so many stories of hope and ORFC always acts as a reminder that there are people out there doing remarkable things to build a better planet for us all, and that we are all in it together.
If you aren’t attending, follow our social channels and @ORFC on Twitter. We will be capturing voices from the community to share on future episodes. If you see something in the programme of interest, drop us a message and we’ll try to cover it.