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Top cricketer set to offer leadership tips to farmers facing up to challenges of Brexit

PUBLISHED: 15:25 30 January 2020 | UPDATED: 15:25 30 January 2020

Alastair Cook celebrates making a century back in 2012 - he will be remembered as a brilliant sportsman

Alastair Cook celebrates making a century back in 2012 - he will be remembered as a brilliant sportsman

PA Wire/Press Association Images

East Anglia’s farmers will be hearing from an Essex cricketing great next week as they gather for their annual agricultural conference.

Essex's Sir Alastair Cook in action at Fenner's, Cambridge this week. Cricket is back. Photo: PAEssex's Sir Alastair Cook in action at Fenner's, Cambridge this week. Cricket is back. Photo: PA

Former England captain Sir Alastair Cook - who also has a sheep farm at Leighton Buzzard in Bedfordshire - will be drawing on his experience as a leading Test run scorer as he delivers a lecture on leadership at the 2020 Sentry Farming Conference in Newmarket.

In the aftermath of Britain's momentous decision to leave the European Union, the theme of the whole day event will be cultivating a culture of succession, as farmers consider the best way their businesses can thrive and grow at a time of great change for the industry.

As well as an afternoon question-and-answer session with Sir Alastair, delegates will be hearing from a series of succession experts, focusing on three key areas - collaboration, succession and leadership.

Chairman Ian Pigot admitted that UK agriculture had a "historically poor record" of collaboration, trailing most of the world.

"We will hear from both ends of the earth, from Scotland to New Zealand on how a farming business and a whole sector have collaborated for personal and industry benefit," he said.

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"Succession, too often seen as an addendum to will planning, is a largely misunderstood and misrepresented necessity for progression.

"Careful and strategic succession planning can propel a business's fortunes."

A succession discussion panel of industry experts will be sharing their opinions on the subject before opening the floor to audience questions.

The panel will be made up of Gary Markham, director at Land Family Business, Edward Venmore, head of agriculture at Foot Anstey Solicitors, Elizabeth Bagger, director general at The Institute of Family Business, and Brian Thompson, chairman of Musgrave Next Generation.

But first up will be farmer Rory Christie, a board member of The Scottish Agricultural Organisation Society, who will be discussing collaboration. He will be followed by Dr Chris Kebbell, who was formerly New Zealand's veterinary counsellor to the European Union and later became the country's primary industries agriculture counsellor, based at the New Zealand High Commission in London.


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