With guests from the same industries,making their way to the same city, the similarities end here.
The Oxford Farming Conference has been up and running at the university since 1936, with this years title as ‘Bold Agriculture’ the three day event will discuss entrepreneurism and leadership with speakers including Liz Truss, Owen Paterson and Phil Hogan.
The conference is very much focussed on the economics of the industry and pushing agriculture into the technical future.
Just down the road, with a very different take on the matter, the Oxford Real Farming Conference looks into growing agriculture while protecting the natural environment.
Often overlooked, as the ‘hippy’ version of the conference, this year’s agenda makes for some fascinating topics, which many obviously agree with as all 700 tickets sold out before Christmas.
Organisers of the conference say they look forward to welcoming more women, small scale farmers and new entrants than ever before, and even released a limited number of tickets which were snapped up immediately- a feat for the event, whose rivals will debate whether agriculture is an equal opportunities industry.
This is where organisers see the future of agriculture saying: “The aim is to create a tolerable and sustainable world for future generations and for our fellow creatures: not with bigger high-input monocultures geared to the needs of transnational corporates, but with complex medium size farming operations run on agroecological principles for the direct benefit of communities and the environment.”
Still unsure of which one to attend, swaying more towards the Real Farming Conference, I’m just not sure I could afford to miss Kerry McCarthy versus Truss in a room full of angry farmers.