Hello and welcome to Farmerama, episode 30! This month we bring you stories from the 9th Annual Oxford Real Farming Conference (ORFC). The Conference this year was a bit different as politics took centre stage. We have a few words from Michael Gove, Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs in conversation with Zac Goldsmith. His positive words, we hope will bring positive actions.

A brilliant part of the conference was the launch of The Soil Never Sleeps, a book of poetry from the Pasture-Fed Livestock Association (PFLA), written by their poet-in-residence Adam Horovitz – you can get a copy here. We hear two PFLA farmers, Fidelity Weston and Chris Jones, share their experiences of working with a poet and reading poems written about their farms.

Human ecology and holistic food systems in cities are explained by Abi Morden of Propagate based in Glasgow; they work to develop Scottish food projects. Richard Smith, farm manager at Daylesford talks about his favourite hay crop, sainfoin, and just how beneficial it can be. Finally, we hear from Ted Green who is focused on ‘pollarding for fodder’ – if that doesn’t mean anything to you (it didn’t to some of us) then listen in and all will be revealed!

This episode was produced by Abby Rose, Jo Barratt, and Katie Revell. Thank you to Joy Rose, Annie Landless and James Fryer for helping us capture stories at the conference. Thank you also to the wonderful fiddler Becky Dellow who played the music at the start of the show, performed between poems from The Soil Never Sleeps launch. And thank you also Katherine, Nessie and the ORFC team for making ORFC 18 such a success and pleasure to cover!

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