Monday, 17 September 2012

An invitation to the 50th Anniversary Agricultural Christian Fellowship Conference

3 November 2012

9.15 for 9.45am – 4.00pm
Jersey Cattle Society, National Agricultural Centre, Stoneleigh Park, Warwickshire
CV8 2LG (for satnav)

ACF in the last fifty years

Members, Students and FCN Volunteers:  £35
Non Members:  £45
Includes all refreshments and lunch

Cheques payable to Agricultural Christian Fellowship enclosed with this form  and returned to Manor Farm, Guilsborough Road, West Haddon, Northampton, NN6 7AQ or alternatively you can pay on the door with cheque or cash.

The Seeds that have been sown – Crops or Weeds?

In this 50th anniversary year we intend to look at farming in the last fifty years, both in general terms and in terms of how families have experienced it.  Then, after lunch, we will examine the way ACF has carried out the purposes listed on its membership leaflet.  Finally we will look ahead to prepare for the 2013 Conference which will be about the future of farming, farm families and the ACF.


From 09.15                          Coffee and registration
09.45                                    ACF AGM.
10.05                                    Opening Worship led by the Reverend Ivor MacDonald.
10.20                                    A review of the role and place of farming over the last 50 years, from a broad perspective
                                             (Lord Curry).
10.40                                    Professor John Hodges will review the changes in science and technology in that period.   
11.00                                    General discussion with both speakers.  We will be trying to pick out key points on the journey,
                                             in particular things that have sown the seeds for opportunity or problems in the future.                             
11.15                                    Group discussions.  In each group a farm family will review briefly how this has unfolded in their
own farms and then the rest of the group will share their own experiences.  A record of these discussions will be kept and each group will be asked to give two headline  sentences.  Again, we will be trying to look at the lessons to be learned.
12.30                                    From black ties and dinner to muddy wellingtons – Dr John Wibberley reflects on the early days.
12.45 – 2.00                         LUNCH

2.00                                      A brief reaction to the work done in the groups.
2.10                                      Conference breaks into different groups, one will look at the role of ACF as a Fellowship at both a
                                             national and local level – successes, failures, lessons learned.
                                             Another will look at ACF’s work and partnership in searching for biblical insights on farming and its
                                             problems and opportunities.  The third will look at ACF’s role with the Arthur Rank Centre in the
starting and sustaining of Farm Crisis Network.  The fourth will take a challenging look at the question of evangalism in the  Farming Community.  There will be a requirement for 2 sentences and a proper record.
3.00                                      What is the point of farming?  Professor Tim Gorringe.
3.50                                      Closing worship.

Lord Donald Curry chaired The Policy Commission on the Future of Farming and Food reporting to Government in January 2002 and was responsible for overseeing the Government’s strategy for sustainable farming and food until March 2009.Aside from his agricultural commitments, he was also a founder, of ‘At Home in the Community’ in 1990 and has continued to chair the company since then.  The charity promotes the social inclusion of people with a learning disability living in supported accommodation.
Tim Gorringe worked in parishes for six years before going to South India to teach theology at the Tamil Nadu Theological Seminary, where he worked for seven years. On return to Britain he was for nine years Chaplain, Fellow and Tutor in Theology at St John's College, Oxford. In 1995 he became Reader in Contextual Theology at St Andrew's and in 1998 took up his present post as St Luke's Professor of Theological Studies.  Together with his wife Gill he runs a 15 acre smallholding with a flock of 60 Jacobs sheep, bees, chickens, fruit and vegetables, cider and wine making and occasionally, inadvertently, rather good wine vinegar.
Professor John Hodges was born in Northampton. He is a geneticist who taught at Cambridge University, was Head of Production Division of the Milk Marketing Board and was Professor of Animal Genetics at the University of British Columbia, Canada. Later, with the UN Food and Agriculture Organization in Rome (FAO) he directed genetic improvement of livestock and started the UN programme for conserving endangered breeds of livestock. He also took part in drafting the Convention on Biodiversity. He has been a Visiting University Professor in Edinburgh, Melbourne and several East European countries in which he also worked for the European Union preparing for accession to the EU. He has served as an Editor of scientific journals.  He has degrees in Agriculture, Animal Production and Genetics and a degree in Business Administration from the Harvard Business School.   He now lives in Austria and speaks and writes internationally on Genetics and Ethics in Agriculture, Food and the Environment.

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