I have never before been to a conference where the opening plenary involved Japanese taiko drummers and the closing had The Beatles’ Revolution as a soundtrack. But the Oxford Real Farming Conference (ORFC) is no ordinary conference.
It’s a conference where master butchers rub shoulders with vegetarians and English estate managers sit down with Scottish crofters; a conference where the concept of farming could stretch from a 20,000-acre estate in Argentina to a pocket-sized brownfield site in Bristol.
I first attended the ORFC in 2019, for just one day and for no good reason beyond curiosity. This year, I came back for both days with something resembling a strategy – a deliberate intention to glean as much expertise and imagination