BBC presenter to chair Rothamsted forum on agri-food challenges in Harpenden

PUBLISHED: 18:11 13 January 2017 | UPDATED: 18:11 13 January 2017

BBC Farming Today's Charlotte Smith is chairing the Rothamsted forum. Photo courtesy @charlottebsmith/Twitter

BBC Farming Today's Charlotte Smith is chairing the Rothamsted forum. Photo courtesy @charlottebsmith/Twitter


A BBC presenter, who describes herself as being a ‘radio nerd’ since a teenager, is chairing a major agricultural event in Harpenden

Rothamsted researchRothamsted research

Charlotte Smith, presenter of BBC Radio 4’s Farming Today and Countryfile (BBC1), will chair the first day of the three-day Rothamsted Open Innovation Forum, being held from January 18-20.

Day two of the event will feature keynote speaker Christian Witt from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, and a ministerial address from George Freeman, MP for Mid Norfolk. The politician founded The Norfolk Way project, to promote a new model of decentralised rural innovation economy.

Rothamsted’s forum has attracted industry leaders from around the world, who will share ideas and provide solutions for global food challenges.

The third day will see attendees discussing everything from crop science to agronomy and data.

One of the new buildings at Rothamsted researchOne of the new buildings at Rothamsted research

Chris Dunkley, chief executive of Rothamsted Centre for Research and Enterprise, said the conference “will give everyone from farmers to scientists the chance to get involved with the big opportunities in global food security”.

Apart from discussion on people’s acceptance of crop protection technologies, industry leaders from around the world will also focus on increasing knowledge of African soils and landscapes, to help focus agronomic advice on the most productive areas.

Chris explained: “By bringing together international representatives from across the agri-food supply chain, the conference is a game-changing way of fast-tracking answers to some of the biggest global questions.”

He said it was ‘crucial’ that such events were held to share knowledge and expertise across the entire agricultural community.

For further information or to book tickets, please visit

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