A packed programme of seminars and discussion will be on offer on Wednesday 18th of November when the first ever online AgriScot event takes place.
Delegate login – for those wishing to sign-in live on the day – is available on a first come first served basis with organisers advising prospective delegates to register now.
AgriScot Chairman Robert Neill explains: “The programme for AgriScot online is superb. With no physical space restrictions, we can stage a real variety of content, from seminars on business sustainability, to exclusive product innovation insights and from panel sessions to political proclamations!”
“We are grateful to our sponsors and virtual tradestand holders; with their support we are able to continue the AgriScot ethos of offering a free to attend event for delegates. However, the online platform we have chosen – to ensure an optimum visitor experience – does invoke a charge per login and hence with, at present, a limited number of spaces available I would encourage would be delegates to sign-up for free now.”
The programme of virtual AgriScot events gets underway at 09:00 on 18th November with an introduction from Robert Neill and highly respected agri-journalist Claire Taylor, who will compere the morning sessions. This will be followed by an on-farm critique of the finalists in the Watson Seeds sponsored Silage Competition, with the winners announced thereafter.
The seminar programme kicks off with a session hosted by Scottish Forestry, followed by a Barclays Bank business discussion. Simultaneously – with the opportunity to catch up anytime post seminars – the results of the AgriScot Product Innovation Award will be announced with a specially commissioned film of the winning product. The Champion of the Decade in the Super Cow and Super Heifer competitions will also be announced at 10:00 – this competition pits the AgriScot champions from 2010-2019 against each other, with the ultimate winner chosen by the voting public.
QMS will host a workshop focussing on maximising returns through hitting target carcass specifications whilst Glasgow Vet School will look at antimicrobial use on dairy farms.
At midday the traditional AgriScot NFUS / ScotGov session will take place, with union President Andrew McCornick and CabSec Fergus Ewing each laying out their views on the big issues facing Scottish agriculture before opening up to audience questions.
“The Cabinet Secretary and NFUS ‘state of the nation’ session at AgriScot is a massive draw for farmers and agri-business people and a key point in the rural calendar for taking stock and examining the big political and policy issues ahead,” Robert Neill continues.
“I expect the demand for ‘seats’ and to submit a question for this session to be just as high in the virtual sphere as when we physically stage the event under normal circumstance. Again, I would encourage anyone wishing to login in for this session to register now, especially if they would like to ask questions and interact with the live discussion.”
“I have absolutely no doubt that, with the end of the Brexit transition period just six weeks after Agr-e-Scot takes place, we can expect a full and frank discussion on 18th November.”
The hugely popular dairy farming panel session, hosted by The Scottish Dairyhub with the support of Kite Consulting, will take place from 13:00-14:00. Panellists will include Robert Graham, from Scotland’s best-selling brand, Grahams Dairies, Market Analyst Chris Walkland and new AHDB Chair Nicholas Saphir. Becki Leach from Kite and Stuart Martin from the Scottish Dairy Hub will co-host the discussions.
Livestock sessions and legal seminars, from Elanco, Harbro, Moredun and Brodies solicitors will fill the remainder of the afternoon, concluding at 15:30.
“We are conscious of the fact that many of our usual AgriScot visitors and participants – be they sponsors, tradestandholders or exhibitors – may not be as comfortable with an online event as they are with AgriScot in its physical form,” stated AgriScot organiser Marin Dare.
“However, the online platform we are utilising will, we believe, provide an excellent visitor experience whilst also being extremely straightforward and intuitive to use.”
“We 100% hope to be back to welcome visitors to AgriScot at Ingliston in November 2021, but in the meantime, for 2020, I would encourage would be delegates to sign up now to make sure the do not miss out on the AgriScot experience.”
The Scottish Farmer’s political affairs editor Claire Taylor, who will co-compere the event, commented – “Over the past eight months, Covid-19 has dominated global discussions, but the future of agriculture in a post-Brexit realm has never been far from people’s minds. AgriScot will pull questions around trade deals, immigration, climate change and future support schemes sharply in to focus, with the countdown to Brexit less than two months away.”
“There remain great uncertainties over our future relationship with the EU and the ramifications this will have on future trade and labour shortages, not to mention ongoing talks with new trading partners which has thrown our world class production and animal welfare standards into the limelight.”
“With the Scottish Government in the throes of designing a new system for agricultural support outside the CAP, more than ever our industry is having to look inwardly at how we can improve our efficiency, profitability and sustainability.”
“I would encourage farmers and other industry professionals to register now to participate in AgriScot online, the event provides a great opportunity to get up to date on these key issues and also take advantage of the valuable business advice on offer in the wide ranging seminars throughout the day.”
To sign up as a delegate to AgriScot 2020 online, please visit: Hopin.to/events/agriscot-2020