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IAgrE is the professional body for engineers, scientists, technologists and managers in agricultural and allied landbased industries. Click the icons to find out more.

Landwards Conference 2024


Wednesday 6 November

Population growth, climate change, renewable energy, sustainable food production, all things we hear all around us every day. The challenges are clear, but it’s evident that working in silos is not going to achieve the results we need. These topics are inherently linked to each other and will require a collaborative systems based approach to solve.

Our conference this year will not focus on the challenges, but on how we can achieve the solutions. By encouraging the thought process between the different stakeholders, we intend to highlight what engineers working in agriculture need to focus on for the future.

The event will culminate in a panel discussion, where our speakers will answer questions from the audience and give you a chance to put your views forward.  We hope the conference will be of interest to a broad spectrum of people, including students, academics, technologists and industry engineers as we explore the future and ensure that through agricultural engineering we secure food safety for all.

The speakers for the event are being finalised now and details will be added below.  The programme as it stands is available here and booking is open.

We do have sponsorship opportunities available.  If you are interested in partnering with us you can find out more here.


Setting the Scene
Kate Halliwell, CSO, Food & Drink Federation

Kate Halliwell is the Food and Drink Federation’s Chief Scientific Officer.   Kate is accountable for the FDF’s food safety, food law and labelling, and diet and health policy briefs.

The role involves extensive liaison with food and drink manufacturing companies to develop cross-industry policy positions and responding to scientific consultations.  Previously Kate led the FDF’s diet and health policy work, and before that worked for the Department of Health and the Food Standards Agency on a range of nutrition and legislation policies.  Kate Chairs the IFST’s Special Interest Group for Food Science and Nutrition and is a registered nutritionist.  



Political View
Jelte Wiersma, Secretary General, CEMA

Jelte Wiersma is the Secretary General of CEMA – the European Association representing the Agricultural Machinery manufacturers in Europe. CEMA’s members are 11 National Associations and the biggest seven tractor manufacturers in Europe. 

Jelte, a Dutch national, from 2014 he worked as EU-correspondent for the leading Dutch weekly, covering European affairs, including agriculture, and agri-food-related issues. He took on his current role in 2022.  He is one of the founding members of the Holland House in Brussels.


Food Retailer View






Agronomist View
Kieran Walsh, Agronomist, Grounded Agvice

Kieran, has a practical background in farming, working on farms from a young age, then moving into farm management before a career move into agronomy in 2015. Starting as a distribution agronomist for 6 years, before going independent in 2019, as a regional agronomist for a large farming company.

Kieran is now co-founder and director of Grounded Agvice, and provides tailored independent agronomic advice addressing customer issues by seeking system-based approaches outside the normal parameters of crop agronomy. Their innovative approach supports farms and land owners across the south of the UK.



Livestock Sector View



Farmers View
James Price, Perdiswell Farm, Oxfordshire

James is an arable farmer from the edge of the Cotswolds who is pursuing his goal to both improve the quality of his soils and be more precise in every input.  This has led to a successful and profitable business and also industry recognition with roles at the AHDB and NFU in the past. He farms 3600ac in a family partnership with a mixture of owned, tenanted and contract farmed land and he worked alongside Clive Blacker and Yara with their N sensor for 5 years covering all aspects of precision farming with an emphasis on nutrient management.  

He is in a unique position of being able to practise what he preaches and has proved many times over the benefits of precision farming.  His attention to detail in all aspects of arable farming has led to a steady increase in yields despite the limitations of drought prone Cotswold Brash Soils.  At the same time he is ranked in the top 5% of farmers for low growing costs and uses nearly half the average amount of diesel per ha despite having ploughing in the rotation. Recent investment has seen a switch to 12m controlled traffic and the use of a camera guided hoe is being investigated.  His passion for improving his soils has led to the re-introduction of livestock onto the farm with both sheep and cattle during the winter. These, combined with cover crops and organic manures, have led to him being at the forefront of regenerative farming.  



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