Lincolnshire Farming Conference returns with ‘Healthy soils, Healthy minds’ theme

Returning this year following the pandemic, the Lincolnshire Farming Conference welcomed hundreds of farmers from across the industry to discuss topics around soil health and mental well-being in farming.

Lincolnshire Showground, Lincolnshire Farming Conference.

Organised by the Lincolnshire Agricultural Society, this year’s event was centred around the theme ‘Healthy soils, Healthy minds’, sparking discussion on how healthy soils and healthy minds go hand in hand.

The theme has been a key talking point in recent years due to ongoing issues with soil health across the UK, as well as reports that 36% of farmers in the UK are “possibly” or “probably” depressed, according to RABI’s Big Farming Survey.

Kelly Hewson-Fisher, chair of the Lincolnshire Farming Conference, opened the annual event by discussing the importance of soil health, saying that increasing soil organic matter by 1% can improve the water holding capacity by 20,000 gallons per acre.

The event featured Heather Wildman, managing director at Saviour Associates, insights into her farming journey and how the life-changing Nuffield Scholarship helped her begin a career in agriculture.

The Nuffield Farming Scholarships Trust offers funding to those starting their career in the industry, allowing new entrants to go overseas to develop their skills and learn from others, while also helping them share ideas when they return home.

After a series of inspiring talks, NFU vice president David Exwood rounded off the conference by discussing soil health on his own farm and talking about his personal experiences with mental health and why healthy soils and healthy minds go hand in hand.

The event also featured a range of topical workshop sessions on the future of farming and increasing soil productivity, as well as demonstrations, Q&A sessions, and a number of exhibitors for attendees to browse.

Sarah Duxbury, business development and trade sales manager at Lincolnshire Showground, commented: “After being unable to host the Lincolnshire Farming Conference for two years due to Covid-19, it was great to see the event back with so many attendees.

“It was an incredible event which was filled with speeches from key names in the industry who provided their unique insights and perspectives into the theme, Healthy soils, Healthy minds, a particularly important theme for all those who work in the world of farming.”

She also highlighted how the conference facilitated open and much-needed discussions on mental health in farming and shed light on the sheer number of people it affects in the industry.

Finally, she thanked all sponsors, speakers, and delegates for making the 2023 conference a memorable event, saying “it was certainly worth the two-year wait”.

“We’re already excited for next year’s conference and looking at ways to make it even better.”

For more information about Lincolnshire Showground, visit

To read the Big Farming Survey report, visit the RABI website here.

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