Farming and the nation: historical perspectives for rural policy after Brexit

RHN 145/2017 | Event

Organisers: British Agricultural History Society

3 November 2017, The Farmers Club, 3 Whitehall Court, London SW1A 2E, UK

Farming and the nation: historical perspectives for rural policy after Brexit
A Day Conference on Friday, November 3

The next few years will see the emergence of a new agricultural policy for the UK. What form it will take will involve considerable debate, not only over the details, but also over the significant principle which has provided a context for British farming over many years: that the state has a role to play in underpinning the economic functioning of the agricultural sector.

This year is the 100th anniversary of the Corn Production Act, and 70 years since the passing of the 1947 Agriculture Act. These anniversaries remind us that agricultural policy exists in an historical context, and we argue that agricultural historians should be part of the current debate on the future of farming. Accordingly, a one-day conference, under the aegis of the British Agricultural History Society, will take place at the Farmers Club in London on Friday 3 November. The speakers will be:

Dr Paul Brassley (University of Exeter):
The 1947 Agriculture Act: where it came from, and where it went

Professor David Harvey (University of Newcastle):
What did the 1947 Agriculture Act do for us?

Dr Nicola Verdon (Sheffield Hallam University):
Work, wages and the place of the farm worker in British agriculture

Dr Alan Greer (University of the West of England, Bristol):
Agricultural Policy and Devolution in Historical Perspective

And, in a concluding round-table discussion chaired by Dr Jeremy Burchardt (University of Reading): Charlie Pye-Smith (author of Land of Plenty), Johann Tasker (chief reporter, Farmers Weekly), Professor Abigail Woods (King’s College, London, veterinary historian), and Berkeley Hill (Imperial College, London, expert on agricultural economics and policy).

Registration and coffee will be from 10.30 a.m., with the first paper at 11 a.m. The conference will close at 4.30 pm.

Please note that the Farmers Club dress code specifies formal jackets and ties for men and states that ‘ladies should be dressed conventionally, trousers are permitted’.

The cost of the conference (which includes coffee, lunch and tea) is £20. The numbers attending are limited to 45, and will be allocated on a first come, first served basis. To register, go to, and follow the link.

For further details please contact Professor Clare Griffiths, School of History, Archaeology and Religion, Cardiff University: