The 2017 IFMA Congress is based at the purpose built John McIntyre Conference Centre which is located at the foot of Arthur’s Seat!

Conference CentreConference Centre

There is an abundance of challenges that will influence ‘Future Farming Systems’, the main theme for IFMA21, and we are looking forward to a really interesting congress. As the full programme will not finalised till we have a list of accepted papers, we will be providing first an outline programme and then as keynote presentations and speakers get confirmed a provisional programme.

The Congress has two core parts plus an option for a congress participant element:

  • Conference days (Monday, Wednesday and Friday am)
  • Field tour days (Tuesday and Thursday)

In addition, we are arranging a busy social programme beginning with a welcome event on Sunday 2nd July and include the Congress Dinner on Wednesday 5th plus ceilidh (a traditional Scottish social gathering) on Thursday 6th. On conference days accompanying person tours will also be available.

Outline programme for the conference days

Monday 3rd July

Morning presentations by invited speakers giving world perspectives on future farming systems. Including;

  • An introduction to farming in the UK
  • Globalisation effects on farming systems around the world
  • Resilient farming systems
  • Farming across different countries

The afternoon will be parallel sessions with contribute papers on a selection of the Congress sub themes

Tuesday 4th July

Please see list of field trips below which will run on both Tuesday and Thursday

Wednesday 5th July

Morning presentations by invited speakers highlighting challenges and approaches to operating farm businesses in global and local environments. Including:

  •  Challenges for future farming systems around the world
  • Vertical integration
  • Entrepreneurship
  • The role of new technologies

In the afternoon, there will be parallel sessions with contribute papers on a selection of the Congress sub themes (as listed for Monday)

  • An additional subject is being covered on Wednesday after which will be in the form of a seminar covering entrepreneurship and strategic management. This will be organized by ERASMUS+ISM+Project.

Thursday 6th July

Please see list of field trips below which will run on both Tuesday and Thursday

Friday 7th July

Morning presentations that look to the future by invited speakers. Including

  • Managing change
  • New and industry led initiatives to support young people in agriculture
  • Challenges to new entrants
  • Developing you people in a large agri-business

The main congress will close prior to lunch.

Tuesday and Thursdays Field Trips

Field Trip 1 – Dairying in Dumfries

Located in the South West of Scotland Dumfries and Galloway is one of the main dairying areas in Scotland. This trip will focus on dairy farming and will include a trip to the SRUC dairy research centre where you will be able to see the Langhill Herd, which is recognised internationally for research into dairy systems since 1970.

Field Trip 2 – Research & Knowledge Exchange in Midlothian and the Scottish Borders

This Field Trip will take you to the outskirts of Edinburgh and onto the Scottish Borders to see farms which are or have been actively involved in research and knowledge exchange. A highlight will be a visit to the SRUC beef and sheep research centre which is home to the GreenCow project with its facilities to measure methane emissions from livestock.

Field Trip 3 – A traditional Estate in the Scottish Borders

The Scottish Borders is located in the South of Scotland, on this trip you will find out more about traditional estates. These are agri-businesses which typically farm part of their land (land that is “in hand”) and let out other parts on tenancy agreements. The history of Scottish Estates is rich and interesting, these business and their tenants face unique challenges.

Field Trip 4 – From Farm to Fork in the Central Belt

This trip into the central belt of Scotland will allow you to see a mixture of farming and processing businesses and will focus on the food supply chain ‘from farm to fork’. This area is the most populated in Scotland and extends west from Edinburgh towards Glasgow, and farming close to urban conurbations has its own challenges while good transport links have benefits for processers.

Field Trip 5 – Adding value in East Lothian

East Lothian located to the South of Edinburgh has some of the most fertile soils in Scoland, allowing a wide variety of crops to be grown. Being close to major centres of population, local farmers also have good opportunities to engage directly with customers. On this trip you will have the opportunity to see how some local business making use of this opportunity and adding value to their produce.

Field Trip 6 – Specialist cropping in Perthshire

Perthshire is one of the most beautiful regions in Scotland and is well known for its high value cash crops including potatoes, vegetables and soft fruit. During visits to some of the farms in this area you will find out more about the production of these crops in Scotland and innovations that have enabled it to develop.

Field Trip 7 – Farm diversification in Fife

Field Trip 7 will take you across the new Queensferry Crossing into Fife. Here we will visit farms which have chosen diversification as a route to generating additional income to expand or secure the business. There are a great variety of enterprises as this area is close to several large populations, has good quality land and has a well established tourism sector.

Field Trip 8 – Hill and Upland Farming in Stirlingshire

On this trip you will head North West from Edinburgh to visit hill and upland farms in Stirlingshire. At SRUC’s Hill and Mountain Research Centre there is lots to see including studies on biodiversity and technologies that can assist in the management of extensive livestock. Please note there is also a visit to the Hill and Mountain Research Centre on the post-congress tour.

Dynamic Earth the venue for the Wednesday evening dinner

Dynamic Earth venue for 21st Congress evening dinner

This is a spectacular building that houses an experience that takes visitors on a journey through time to witness the story of planet earth.

Dynamic Earth is in a stunning location in the Holyrood area of Edinburgh, beside the new Scottish Parliament building and at the foot of Arthur's Seat. The venue is transformed in the evening in to a spectacular dinner venue.

Dynamic Earth venue for 21st Congress evening dinner