The ORFC we believe should be the must attend conference at the start of the year for farmers and those who want to farm (but need help/don't know how/where to start -- including finding land); producers; and anyone who cares about the future of real food and farming and sees that we can't leave the matter to the status quo.
The 4th annual Oxford Real Farming Conference (ORFC) will be held in January 2013. We hold the event at the same time as the Oxford Farming Conference (OFC) which has been going for over 60 years. The OFC is the conventional farming conference -- attended by lots of landowner farmers in tweed suits, with massive sponsorship from the industry (fertiliser companies, Sainsburys, et al). The Gvt uses it to announce its current policy/publication of a report/and so on -- the Sec of State (this year Caroline Spelman) attends on the first morning. We were set up as the fringe meeting -- presenting a vision of farming as it could and should be: one that is designed to feed people well (vs make loads of money), take care of animals, not destroy the environment; and that is sustainable well into the future (way beyond the watershed of 2050). We started with a half day conference and were amazed at the numbers who turned up. Then we went to 2 half days, then this year to nearly 2 full days. In 2013 we're planning 3 strands to run in parallel: technical (farming issues eg soil, pasture); policy; and new entrants -- the latter to be run as a proper fringe with people booking to run their own sessions. We're needing help with 'branding', building the website -- with all the necessary add-ons (booking, use of social media, and so on), and other means of marketing. We're wanting to build a strong presence on-line (so the conventional media have to take notice). And we want the content broadcast to an international audience (as well as to those who can't make it from the UK).