Hundreds of Norfolk farmers will gather next week for a major conference exploring the ground-breaking trends and technologies shaping their industry's future.

The 2024 Norfolk Farming Conference will be hosted by the Royal Norfolk Agricultural Association (RNAA) at the Norfolk Showground on Tuesday, February 6.

Following an opening address by Defra farming minister Mark Spencer, delegates will hear from speakers ranging from industry-leading farmers, scientists and analysts to next-generation "Norfolk Scholars".

The line-up includes Patrick Holden, founder of the UK Sustainable Food Trust, Jules Pretty, professor of environment at the University of Essex, Dutch agricultural attaché Philip de Jong and NIAB director Dr Lydia Smith as well as pioneering farmers Poul Hoveson of the Salle estate, near Reepham, and Andy Cato, a Grammy-nominated musician with electronic duo Groove Armada who now works with farmers embracing nature-friendly practices.

Discussion themes include the environmental cost of modern food production, the value of regenerative farming systems, and why dietary and health issues matter to agriculture.

The conference will also ask how data can enhance agricultural sustainability, and what the next generation of Norfolk farmers expect from the current generation - showcasing insights from young professionals associated with the RNAA’s Norfolk Voices for Norfolk Futures initiative.

The conference will be chaired by Agri-TechE director Belinda Clarke, who said:"The long-standing tradition of the Norfolk Farming Conference sees a perfect juxtaposition of traditional and modern farming.

"In 2024 we’ll be exploring some of the most pressing issues facing farming, such as data management, and how to align farm outputs with farm nutrition.

"The all-important policy lens is critical to set the direction of travel for the industry and I am looking forward to hearing from the thought-leaders in our sector as to how we can collectively harness the opportunities and respond to the challenges facing the industry."

The event will also see the launch of Norfolk County Council's new Rural Business Awards scheme, aiming to "acknowledge and celebrate excellence within the county's rural economy".

For more information and tickets, see