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Stackyard News Oct 2010

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A Future in Food, Farming and the Environment

Farming entrepreneur Anna Longthorp will share her experience of setting up as a pig farmer to careers advisors and teachers from across the region at a conference in York.

Anna Longthorp with her pigs, Anna is one of the speakers at the conference at Askham Bryan College on 4 November.

Anna Longthorp

Anna is one of the speakers at the event on Thursday 4 November at Askham Bryan College which is aimed at highlighting the myriad of opportunities available to young high fliers and graduates who are in the process of deciding their careers paths. It is hoped that delegates will then encourage their students to factor a career in the rural sector into their decision making.

Two years ago 28 year old Anna did exactly that. She decided to expand her family’s farming enterprise by rearing free range commercial pigs, launching “Anna’s Happy Trotters”. Beginning with 300 breeding sows, initially she was selling five animals a week to her local butchers. That figure has now reached 140 plus and a further 700 pigs are sold each week to Waitrose. Her stock now totals 2,100 breeding sows and Anna runs her business from the family farm near Howden, East Yorkshire.

The conference is entitled “A Future in Food, Farming and the Environment” and is based around three themes – “Farm to Fork”, introduced by Miss Longthorp and Lee Coleman of Waitrose’ “Going Green and Social Responsibility” led by Julian Davies of Stockbridge Technology Centre, Selby and Claire Foster of the Farming and Wildlife Advisory Group (a former Askham Bryan student). The third theme – “Science and Business” – will be led by Professor Nicola Spence of Science City, York.

In addition, Heather Parry, Deputy Chief Executive of the Yorkshire Agricultural Society will share her experience of career development – from working in the marketing department at Earls Court, London through to joining the Society. Latterly her remit has included developing the award winning Regional Agricultural Centre and Fodder, its food shop and café based at the Great Yorkshire Showground, Harrogate.

Delegates will also have the opportunity to talk to a variety of businesses working in the sector. These range from locally based rural companies and organizations to national food producers, to science and technology companies.

The conference is organised by The Food and Farming Forum for Yorkshire and the Humber, which is chaired by Harrogate farmer, Steve Willis.

It is supported by the Yorkshire Agricultural Society, best known as the organiser of the annual farming showcase, the Great Yorkshire Show.

To register for the conference or for more information please contact Deborah Hare, The Food and Farming Forum – 07702 598 108 or email

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