Norfolk Farming Conference moves to showground for 2022 comeback

RNAA managing director Mark Nicholas at the Norfolk Showground

RNAA managing director Mark Nicholas at the Norfolk Showground, which will host the Norfolk Farming Conference on February 10, 2022 - Credit: Danielle Booden

A major centrepiece of the Norfolk farming calendar will return at a new venue when it makes its post-lockdown comeback next year.

After pausing for a year due to the Covid pandemic, the Norfolk Farming Conference will return on February 10, 2022, at the Norfolk Showground.

Organisations including the Royal Norfolk Agricultural Association, Brown and Co, Birketts, Lovewell Blake, NatWest, Norfolk County Council and the AF Group are working together to organise the event, which was previously held at Norwich's John Innes Centre.

An array of leading national and regional speakers will discuss three key themes: trade challenges and opportunities, farming carbon and the environment, and water resources and flood mitigation.

Charles Whitaker, managing partner of Brown and Co, said: “We feel it’s important at a time of such major change for the farming industry that the conference addresses the issues that are challenging farming and land use.

"This is from the standpoint of government policy change, pressure to change land use practices to combat climate change, the impact on trade/markets and understanding the impact of the goal of de-carbonisation of the sector across the environment and resource use."

Charles Whitaker, managing partner of Brown and Co

Charles Whitaker, managing partner of Brown and Co - Credit: Andrew Brackenbury

Mark Nicholas, managing director of the RNAA, said the association is "delighted" to be hosting the Norfolk Farming Conference in 2022.

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"There is something quite important about hosting this conference in what many regard as the spiritual home of agriculture," he said.

"The showground is where everybody comes together for the Royal Norfolk Show and the many other events that we run.

"We strongly believe we have a unifying role in the wider agricultural community, and this is another example of how we can bring people together for this well-known and important site to celebrate this very important event in the farming calendar."

The conference will again welcome Guy Smith as chairman, and speakers already confirmed include NFU vice president Tom Bradshaw, Prof Paul Dolman from the UEA's School of Environmental Sciences, award-winning Norfolk farm conservationist David Lyles, and Robin Price, managing director of Water Resources East.

Mr Nicholas said other headline speakers are still being confirmed, and the organisers also hope to welcome a senior Defra minister and officials at the conference.

There will also be three East Anglian farm case studies: Nick Padwick on rewilding the Ken Hill Estate, John Pawsey on organic farming and monetising "natural capital", and Poul Hovesen on building soil health and organic matter. 

Nick Padwick, farm manager at the Wild Ken Hill estate in west Norfolk

Nick Padwick, farm manager at the Wild Ken Hill estate in west Norfolk, which will be one of the case studies at the 2022 Norfolk Farming Conference - Credit: Ken Hill Estate

Tickets can be booked online at

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