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Jamaican farmer is star attraction at Innovation and Diversification Wales Show

HE’S a pro at farming, can turn his hand to making gluten-free sausages and he’s brilliant at marketing! The Black Farmer’s next project is to inspire rural entrepreneurs in Wales to embrace innovation and diversify!

Every so often, someone relatively under the radar has a great business idea, follows it through successfully and hits the big time! Wilfred Emmanuel-Jones is just such a person, and The Black Farmer – the name both he and his famous food company is known by – is coming to Wales to inspire our rural entrepreneurs!

On Thursday, 26 September, Jamaican-born Wilfred, who grew up in inner-city Birmingham and by his own admission is ‘a poor boy done good’ is one of the star attractions at Farming Connect’s Innovation & Diversification Wales show, which takes place at the Royal Welsh Showgound, Llanelwedd from 10am to 4pm on Thursday, 26 September.

Wilfred, one of the UK’s most prominent and successful rural entrepreneurs, is regularly in the headlines, not only for his success in bringing his award-winning produce to leading retailers and customers throughout the UK, but for his outspoken views on diversification, social justice and lots more besides. Wilfred will be joined by a host of inspiring speakers including 26 year old Scouser Hannah Jackson – the ‘red shepherdess’ who recently starred on Channel 4’s gruelling SAS: Who Dares Wins programme. What they all have in common is their determination to succeed in their chosen fields and their willingness to share what they’ve learned along the way!

The event has already attracted 100 trade and business exhibitors representing many of the most influential rural players in Wales and beyond. You could decide you want to meet an Anglesey-born Microsoft executive based in Seattle, who’ll explain why you might want to invest in some of the latest technologies from Silicon City to transform business efficiency! You may want to find out why precision farming is already a game-changer for farmers throughout the world or you could ask an expert to explain why wireless communication that allows IT devices to communicate over long distances with minimal battery usage, should be the ‘next big thing’ you purchase!

The event is expected to attract hundreds of farmers, landowners and rural business people for what’s being billed as a ‘free day out’ which will offer a level of targeted business exposure that could help you add value to your business and identify ways to increase your income. You will also be able to meet the individuals who can help you ‘turn ideas into reality’, through one-to-one ‘taster’ meetings with some of Farming Connect’s approved agri-consultants.

Eirwen Williams, director of rural programmes with Menter a Busnes, which together with Lantra Wales delivers Farming Connect, which is funded by Welsh Government and the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development, urges all those working in agriculture and related fields to plan ahead for attending this unique activity-packed event, which is the first of its type in Wales to focus on supporting rural entrepreneurs.

“Innovation and diversification are rapidly becoming the watchwords of many of the UK’s most progressive farmers and foresters.

“Technological developments including changes in science, engineering, data capture and analysis are developing faster today than ever before and this is your chance to learn how you can incorporate all these different elements to help you ensure you have a sustainable, profitable business fit for the challenges and opportunities of the future,” said Mrs. Williams.

The event will take place in the showground’s South Glamorgan Hall, the Food Hall and other adjacent buildings, where, if the timings don’t clash, you can take your pick from 30 interactive seminars, led by individuals who have had the confidence to explore new ideas, the vision to transform them into reality and the business acumen and support to set up successful diversified or new enterprises.

“Although you can drop in at any time during the day, we strongly advise everyone to visit the Farming Connect website as soon as possible, where you can register your intention to attend, and will find a detailed timetable so that even if you only plan a short visit, you won’t miss the speakers you most want to hear.

“This is a unique opportunity for everyone involved in our industry to hear at first-hand from the agricultural innovators, inventors, manufacturers, service providers and producers of tomorrow, from Wales and beyond.” said Mrs. Williams.

Visit www.gov.wales/farmingconnect to register for the event and for detailed information on all speakers, seminar leads, consultants and exhibitors, together with a detailed timetable which will enable you to plan your day in advance and not miss any element of the programme.

Farming Connect is delivered by Menter a Busnes and Lantra Wales and funded by the Welsh Government and the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development.

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