2015-02-04  

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First Rural & Farming Network Conference a Success

The Cumbria and North & East Lancashire Rural & Farming Network held its first Conference on Tuesday 3 February at Newton Rigg College near Penrith.

It produced a platform of speakers consisting of George Eustice MP, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Farming, Food and Marine Environment, Sarah Hendry the Defra Director for Rural Development, Sustainable Communities & CAP, James Cross the Chief Executive of Natural England and David Hunter, Area Lead North West for the Rural Development Directorate, Rural Payments Agency.

Wes Johnson Principal of Newton Rigg, Douglas Chalmers, George Eustice, James Cross, Will Cockbain, Sarah Hendry

(l/r) Wes Johnson Principal of Newton Rigg, Douglas Chalmers, George Eustice, James Cross, Will Cockbain, Sarah Hendry

RFN Chairman, Will Cockbain said: “Speaking to people afterwards I thought we had a very good conference, with an excellent panel of speakers including the Minister covering a wide range of issues. We also had a real cross section from the wider rural community in the audience and it was great to have Newton Rigg students playing such a key role in the debate.”

Douglas Chalmers, Secretary to the RFN said: “What struck me was the range of background and ages of the audience, and that although they were actively challenging the speakers, there appeared general support for what they were trying to do. All the speakers listened to and engaged with the audience, and as a key role of the RFN is to open communications – both ways – between Defra and rural grass roots, I think we can deem today a success.”

Newton Rigg

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