A wordcloud highlights the patriotic farmer-friendly tone of Defra secretary Caroline Spelman’s speech to this year’s Oxford Farming Conference.

Rather than speaking on the first morning of the conference, Mrs Spelman chose to deliver her keynote address on the second full day (Thursday, 5 January, 2012).

The government wanted to increase the power of agriculture, she told delegates.

The most frequent word in her speech – shown in a wordcloud above – was “food”, which Mrs Spelman used 40 times.

Other key words included “UK” (25 times), “agriculture” (18), “need” (16), “new” (14) and “farming” (12). The phrase “climate change” appeared 11 times.

Contrast this with Mrs Spelman’s speech to the Oxford Farming Conference last year – shown in the wordcloud below.

Mrs Spelman used the word “food” just 18 times last year – despite it being agriculture’s primary product.

Instead, there was more emphasis in 2011 on the “environment” (19 times compared to twice this year).

The most frequently word used last year was “industry”, mentioned by Mrs Spelman 24 times. Food for thought indeed.

What a difference a year makes - Spelman's 2011 Oxford speech