Farmers Weekly Question Time at the Royal Agricultural University (RAU)

22 May 2023

Tree planting, trade deals, imports, and farming policy were among the topics debated when Farmers Weekly brought its popular Question Time event to the University earlier this month.

Chaired by Farmers Weekly’s podcast and projects editor Johann Tasker, the event was held in the RAU’s Parkinson Lecture Theatre and was attended by more than 100 guests including many students and staff from the University.

The RAU event was the last in a series of four debates organised and run by the weekly magazine. Previous events were held at Harper Adams University, SRUC’s Elmwood campus, and the John Innes Centre in Norwich.

The panel for the RAU event included the Professor Tom MacMillan, Elizabeth Creak Chair in Rural Policy and Strategy at the RAU, as well as CLA President and Royal Agricultural College alumnus Mark Tufnell; George Eustice, Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (February 2020 to September 2022); Nick Allen, CEO of the British Meat Processors Association (BMPA); Hertfordshire farmer Jo Franklin; and Rob Yorke, environmental dialogue broker, rural chartered surveyor, moderator and broadcaster.

RAU Vice-Chancellor Professor Peter McCaffery said: “We were delighted to be asked to host the final edition of Farmers Weekly’s Question Time at the RAU and also that our own Professor Tom MacMillan was invited to be on the panel.

“Farming, as we all know, is facing an uncertain future and the evening was a welcome opportunity to discuss a wide range of topics all very relevant to the sector and to us as the UK’s leading global university for sustainable agriculture and land management. We look forward to welcoming Farmers Weekly Question Time back in 2024.”

A recording of the event is available at