Cultivate Conference 2024: A day of learning and growth

Cultivate Conference 2024: A day of learning and growth

On Wednesday, 1 May 2024, Heaton House Farm, Macclesfield, was abuzz with energy and excitement as it hosted the Cultivate Conference, the UK's premier growth summit dedicated exclusively to the rural and agricultural industry.
Cultivate celebrates the opportunities and growth in agriculture.
The theme of this year's conference was 'Rooted in Resilience'.
The theme of this year's conference was 'Rooted in Resilience'.

Co-founded by Andy Venables, Founder and Managing Director of Hillsgreen, and Simon Hayley, Owner and Founder of SRH Agribusiness Ltd, this year's event was a resounding success, drawing more than 300 attendees from across the sector.

Cultivate stands out as the only event in the UK that focuses solely on the growth and development of rural businesses.

This year's theme, 'Rooted in Resilience,' was particularly timely, addressing the need for adaptability and strong leadership in an ever-changing industry. The conference provided a unique blend of inspirational success stories and practical business advice, making it an invaluable experience for all who attended.

Keynote speakers and their insights

The conference featured a stellar lineup of speakers who shared their expertise and experiences, offering attendees a wealth of knowledge to take back to their businesses. Among the notable speakers were:

  • Paul McGee, a distinguished expert in human behaviour and performance, who provided insights into effective leadership and personal development
  • Tom Warner, visionary entrepreneur and founder of Warner’s Distillery, who shared his journey of building a successful business from the ground up
  • Jim Bloom, founder of Warrendale Farming, who discussed the challenges and triumphs of running a multi-division agri-business
  • Samantha Kinghorn, a double-paralympic athlete, whose story of resilience and determination inspired everyone in the room

Emphasising continuous professional development (CPD)

One of the key elements of the Cultivate Conference was its focus on Continuing Professional Development (CPD). The Institute for Agriculture and Horticulture, Cultivate's CPD partner, played a crucial role in highlighting the importance of ongoing learning and skill development within the industry.

These sessions covered a range of topics, from innovative farming techniques to effective business management strategies. The practical advice and hands-on experience provided by the speakers were invaluable, equipping attendees with the tools they need to drive their businesses forward.

Networking and community building

Beyond the formal sessions, Cultivate offered ample opportunities for networking and community building. Attendees were able to connect with like-minded professionals, share their experiences, and forge new partnerships.

This sense of community is vital in an industry that often faces unique challenges, and the conference provided a supportive environment for collaboration and mutual growth.

Supporting the future of agriculture

Cultivate also demonstrated a strong commitment to supporting the future of agriculture. The conference successfully raised £2,292 for the Henry Plumb Foundation, an organisation dedicated to empowering future leaders in the agricultural sector.

This fundraising effort added an extra layer of purpose to the event, highlighting the collective commitment of the agricultural community to nurturing the next generation of leaders.

Looking ahead

Reflecting on the success of the event, Andy Venables expressed his enthusiasm for the future: "We are delighted to bring back Cultivate for 2024, and with such a high-calibre speaker lineup, we look forward to building on the success of the last two events.

"In a time of uncertainty, our focus on building resilience and leadership skills within the industry is more critical than ever. Together, we can inspire and empower the leaders that agriculture so desperately needs." 

For those who missed this year's event, the Cultivate Conference website offers more information and the opportunity to register interest for next year's conference. As the industry continues to evolve, Cultivate remains a beacon of knowledge, inspiration, and support for all rural business professionals.

For more information on Cultivate Conference and to register your interest for next year's event, visit

Keep up to date

Want to find out more about how we're helping to develop the skills and knowledge of the farming and growing workforce?

Then subscribe to our mailing list and you will receive all our future updates.