IN LITTLE more than a year, the Northern Farming Conference has established itself as a major event in the agricultural calendar.

Some 220 delegates attended the inaugural conference, held at Newcastle Racecourse in October 2010.

Speakers included Defra junior minister Lord Henley and MP Anne McIntosh, chairman of the environment, food and rural affairs select committee.

This year’s event — held at Sedgefield on Thursday (3 November) — promises to be even better.

Farm minister Jim Paice has chosen the conference to outline ways the government intends to reduce the burden of red tape on farmers.

In doing so, Mr Paice will use the event to launch the government’s interim response to the Farming Regulation Task Force.

For a sneak preview of the document, click here.

CAP reform will also be high on the agenda, with other speakers including NFU president Peter Kendall and CLA president William Worsley.

A “dog’s breakfast” of CAP reforms threatens to undermine agri-environment schemes on farms across England, Mr Kendall will warn delegates.

CLA President William Worsley will warn that a significant culture change is needed at Defraif pointless bureaucracy is to be reduced.

With no overseas speakers and a strong regional focus, it would be wrong to describe this as the Oxford Farming Conference of the north.

But the Northern Farming Conference is certainly one to watch and looks set to go from strength to strength.

I’ll be attending the conference again this year and tweeting from the event using the hashtag #NFC2011. Photo credit for this post: Mike Ashton, CLA.