Soil Association Conference 5th and 6th January 2006, By Charlotte

Ben and I were asked to speak at this years national Annual Soil Association Conference. We spoke in the workshop “The Next Generation – Attracting the Young into Farming”.

This was the first public talk Ben had done with regards to the project, but understandably we were both nervous. However, it went fantastically well and we had a great response afterwards. Many were inspired by the plans we have for Fordhall and by all the support we have already received.

We were able to meet many great contacts who will now follow us through the campaign. Names such as Jonathan Porritt, Monty Don and Peter Kindersley (Sheepdrove Organic Farm) were among the people we met and discussed the project with.

Patrick Holden, director of the Soil Association, even remarked to us after our speech that our story had brought a tear to his eye!

We had never imagined the conference would have such an impact! The hope now is that the Soil Association will continue their support through the media by helping us to create awareness of the project.

Sophie, Ben and I made the most of this fantastic networking opportunity, we spoke to the BBC, Farmers Weekly and the Farmers Guardian among others. We also quite sneakily put a share application on the seat of every person in the conference! – well you have got to make the most of every opportunity, and many of these applications have now been returned to us with cheques (the largest so far being £1000)

Thank You Soil Association. We look forward to next year.