Topic 1: 9:45am – 10:45am
Day 1 Chairperson - Rohit Kaushish, chief economics advisor, NFU
Day 2 Chairperson - David Exwood, vice president, NFU
Breaking down access to new markets to cultivate business resilience
NFU Chief economics adviser
Rohit oversees a team of economists, statisticians and rural experts to develop and communicate the economic policy of the NFU.
Key areas of focus include measures to manage agricultural market volatility, enhance productivity and environmental delivery.
With a background in finance and ecological economics, specific areas of interest include investigating how natural capital approaches, net zero transition, environmental markets and government initiatives can support the resilience of the agricultural sector and food systems.
David farms south of Horsham in West Sussex with his wife and two sons over 1200 tenanted hectares in the heart of the Sussex Weald.
Starting in 1989 with 70ha the business now has arable, dairy beef, Sussex suckler herd and sheep enterprises. In 2003 the Farm Shop opened and sells a wide range of food from the Victorian stable yard at Westons.
He has served previously within the NFU as Branch Chair, West Sussex Council Delegate, South East Regional Chair as well as four years on Governance Board. David was elected to the position of NFU Vice President in February 2022.
Dr Lydia Smith
Director, NIAB and the Eastern Agritech Innovation (EAI) Hub
Lydia leads Interactive farmer-facing research into sustainable farming; especially soil health, crop genetic improvement and waste minimisation; with a focus on routes to valorisation of all crop products.
She has previously lectured in soil science, crop microbial interactions, environmental biology and land reclamation before moving to NIAB.
Lydia has more than 30 years’ experience of practical and farmer-facing research and with a strong track record of building farmer and industry interactive consortia.
Farm Manager, Hendred Estate , Oxfordshire
All aspects of mainly arable farm management from a very practical level through to strategic business management. Particular interests are agronomy, crop nutrition, soil health, and building resilient, sustainable, planet-friendly farming systems.
Farmers son, Graduated from Harper Adams College with a HND in Agriculture. After a short spell on the family farm have spent the last 34 years managing farms and estates; initially with farm management companies involving short periods on different farms and latterly a longer tenure on a privately owned estate.