FARMING minister George Eustice is to speak to an industry conference on Malvern's Three Counties showground this week.

He will be among a panel of experts at the annual Three Counties Farming Conference, which takes place on Thursday, November 12, with afternoon and evening sessions.

Ken Nottage, chief executive of the Three Counties Agricultural Society, said: “We are very proud of our farming conference. We feel that we are not afraid to raise the issues that face the farmers of today and the farmers of our future. Our panel of speakers is exceptional and is bound to stimulate lively and worthwhile debate amongst our delegates. We are looking forward to welcoming them.”

Headlining the bill in the afternoon are Nuffield Scholars, Kate Adams and Sophie Edenborough, both of whom are academics and have been supported by the TCAS. They will talk about their respective specialisms, the pressing issue of soil preservation and the need for alternatives to antibiotics in the poultry industry.

The evening conference features the expert panel, which as well as Mr Eustice, includes Mike Godding, managing director of FAI Farms Ltd and Woodland, together with Graham Redman, partner at the Andersons Centre, and UKIP MEP Stuart Agnew.

Mr Nottage added: “This year’s debate centres on ‘Do UK farmers need the EU?’ The fortunes of UK farmers are inexorably linked to membership and as farmers’ subsidies are currently calculated in Euros, the strong Pound is seeing this support weakened even further. It is believed UK farmers are more efficient, but are they keeping pace with world competition? Is there room for improvement and would leaving the EU genuinely help the UK farmer? We will be examining this issue throughout the conference.”

Tickets for the conference, which starts at 3.30pm, are £18 per person or £9 for students. For information visit or call 01684 230128.