Environment Secretary George Eustice will be one of the headline speakers at the first Yorkshire Post Country Week conference

Environment Secretary George Eustice will be one of the headline speakers at the inaugural Country Week conference taking place next week.

The Country Week Conference will feature expert panelists discussing issues facing agricultural and rural communities.

Mr Eustice will join representatives from leading rural organisations and businesses in the virtual event next Wednesday, October 6.

The conference is free to attend whether it is for a session or the whole day and with the changing face of agricultural policy presenting farmers, landowners and rural communities with some of the biggest challenges seen since 1945, our expert speakers will be discussing the ways we build a sustainable future.

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Hosted by broadcaster and journalist, Harry Gration, inset, sessions include: Agriculture, Agri Tech, the Rural Economy, Rural Connectivity, Diversification and The Countryside Code along with two panels talking about building resilience in business and through wellbeing.

James Mitchinson, Editor of The Yorkshire Post, said the Country Week conference would provide a “valuable platform” to talk through these issues.

“Yorkshire is undoubtedly a rural powerhouse. Our food and farming businesses contribute more than £100bn to the national economy and have shown their strength throughout the pandemic.

“But our agricultural and rural communities are also facing some tough challenges.

“The Country Week conference will provide a valuable platform to talk through the issues, share best practice and help create the building blocks for a more sustainable future for farming and our rural economy.”

The day’s sessions will be wrapped up by Country Week’s Sophie McCandlish and host Harry Gration who said he is looking forward to an inspiring and positive day.

“For as long as I can remember, The Yorkshire Post has been the champion of rural matters,” he said.

“That role has never been more important than today. The turbulent events we’ve all endured make the Yorkshire Post Country Week’s lead even more significant.

“This conference will bring together some of the most inspiring people and companies to stimulate a positive idea of what our future can be.”

The Country Week Conference is supported by leading organisations across the county and will bring their expertise to the agenda discussions.

Katie Atkinson, vice-chair trustee and planning lead for CPRE The Countryside Charity North Yorkshire, said it would be a day to help lay the foundations for a “sustainable, balanced and responsible” recovery from the challenges of the past 18 months.

The Yorkshire Post Country Week Conference is a virtual event taking place on Wednesday, October 6 – starting at 9.30am.

It is free to attend and there will be the opportunity to put questions to the panelists.

To register and for more details go to the website countryweekconference.co.uk