FORMER Rural Support chief executive Jude McCann has been appointed as one of three new voluntary directors on the board of the Oxford Farming Conference.
Mr McCann, now CEO of The Farming Community Network, has been appointed alongside Head of News at Farmers’ Guardian Abi Kay, and Project Manager (Rural) at Scottish Enterprise Julia Latto. The trio will join the committee after the next conference in January 2023.
Jude grew up on a family farm in mid-Ulster and has a strong understanding of the challenges facing agriculture, having spent seven years as CEO for Rural Support, a charity in Northern Ireland that supports farmers and their families. In 2020 he was appointed CEO with the Farming Community Network (FCN), and now works across England and Wales helping those facing hardship.
Throughout the three year tenure in his new role, a key priority for Mr McCann will be highlighting the health and wellbeing of those that work in the industry.
He said: “It is an honour to be selected as a director for the Oxford Farming Conference. My motivation to apply for the role was twofold. Firstly, as CEO of The Farming Community Network I want to ensure that the health and wellbeing of people working in the agri-sector is continually brought to the fore as we continue to tackle economic and environmental challenges.
“Secondly, on a personal level I am keen to push boundaries, explore opportunities and to give back to the farming community in a positive manner. I very much look forward to working with my fellow directors in the OFC, being part of one of the UK’s largest agricultural events and to work together to ensure a resilient farm sector for the future.”
The public recruitment process looked to attract individuals who would support the charity’s objectives to inform, challenge and inspire delegates by developing a conference agenda that would be a force for positive change throughout the industry.
In addition, applicants were asked to demonstrate leadership qualities that would support OFC’s outreach initiatives, including its bursary and scholarship programmes, supporting the next generation of farmers to attend the conference, including individuals facing social or economic barriers, and those with leadership potential.
The 2023 Oxford Farming Conference, “Farming A New Future”, will take place from January 4-6 in Oxford. The new directors will be officially appointed to the board at the AGM, which takes place during the event.
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