Farm491 host season of AgriTech events exploring the future of British farming

A leading UK technology incubator organisation at the Royal Agricultural University is in the midst of their AgriTech season of events, which begun in January this year. Farm491 are hosting a raft of events in alignment with their work focusing on the future of farming and food systems.

Events so far have included a seminar on sustainable agriculture, Ruralink’s Rural Career Insight Day, a free workshop for AgriTech entrepreneurs and a presentation from TBAT Innovation on funding. The UK Embassy of the Netherlands will visit Farm491 on the 12th March and there will be another workshop for AgriTech entrepreneurs on the 17th and 18th March.

The season culminates at their main showcase event on the 2nd April, titled ‘The Future of British Farming’, which will take place at Farm491’s Harnhill workshop space just outside of Cirencester. The focus for this year’s event is farming and the climate conversation. The event will explore practical solutions for farmers to adopt climate resilient practices, whilst aligning with profitability. The showcase will give the opportunity to meet AgriTech start-ups who are developing solutions in the space, as well as discussion groups to understand what works best for farmers.

Fiona Galbraith, founder and director of Ruralink, who recently hosted a career insight day and the Cirencester Rural List 1st birthday at Farm491’s Alliston Centre, describes the event, “Sixty members of the military and agricultural communities came together to discuss careers and training. Professor Louise Manning (RAU) launched the forthcoming Rural Business Career Gateway Course, Richard Charles gave a fascinating overview of opportunities in manufacturing and RAU alumni, Oxford Farming Conference Emerging Leader, ex-Army farm manager Jonny Kerr proved that you don’t need a family background in farming to make a successful career in agriculture.”

Juan Rodado, one of the organisers of the sustainable agriculture seminar and an RAU student, commented, “The event was about taking a measured look at whether current technology is sustainable. We wanted to look at a global picture through a kaleidoscope of different agricultural practises, from regenerative farming to drone spraying and from the economics of AgriTech to agroforestry. Through the engaging talks from our speakers and insightful questioning from the audience, we stimulated new avenues of interest.”

Mona McCord, director of Agriculture Innovations at the Grameen Foundation USA, who spoke at the sustainable agriculture seminar, said of her event, “It was a privilege to be able to exchange ideas with students, faculty and community members. The seminar provided a great opportunity to examine how technology can be employed to achieve sustainable farming goals. There has never been a more important time to do this given that the agriculture sector will need to grow, while being increasingly climate smart to feed a population of 9 billion people by 2050.”

The AgriTech showcase will take place on the 2nd April from 9:30am until 4:00pm. For more information and to register for tickets please visit Eventbrite here.