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My reputation is a fast moving talk which covers a good deal of ground. The wide spread of material which is included in Practical Farm Ideas makes it possible to tailor the presentation to the audience’s farming interests. Farmer audiences prefer talks that are positive rather than pessimistic. Many appreciate the chance to ask questions. Talks are accompanied with power point - normally around 50 slides. This is made available to attendees who request it. Farmers can post requests prior to the talk. Group size is normally over 12.
Younger audiences need a presentation which keeps up a good pace, and a contents that is understandable. All college talks involve farm finance and costs, and how these are measured and can be reduced. PFI is the only magazine for farmers with ‘Soil’ in it’s title, and it is a major source of information on cover cropping and zero or no-till. This four year magazine within a magazine has compiled a comprehensive amount of information. Workshop projects are another popular farm topic. Group size is generally 15+
Farming is on the cusp of a technical revolution which will have a major impact on suppliers of machinery, chemicals, finance. Agri-business needs to be aware of the challenges and opportunities, and understand how to embrace change. Events can range from large-scale presentations to more intimate seminar style meetings involving no more than a few top executives. All of these are kept entirely confidential.
Travel expenses at 40p/mile from Whitland or Ross on Wye, plus overnight accommodation when needed, either in the local b + b or with a group member. Speaking fees are variable, from £30. Much depends on the size of the organisation.
Mike Donovan's talks reach across farming, the countryside and third world development. An accomplished speaker at school, university and during his career with the Economist Intelligence Unit, Financial Times and subsequently as a farmer and agricultural journalist, his approach is one that audiences appreciate.
In addition to evening talks Mike leads workshops on topics within his expertise for both students and also industry leaders.
The creation of a discrete section in Practical Farm Ideas - Soil+ Cover Cropping International - is a subject area which audiences find of particular interest.
Using the workshop to make and adapt equipment for the home farm, changing farming methods that raise efficiency, has been the basis of many talks to farmers in all sectors of the industry
Talks and presentations come under the following broad headings
Being selected as a member of the International Federation of Agricultural Journalists (IFAJ) Media Tour of Zambia in May 2015 and subsequent reseach work has added both an area of interest and knowledge. A country where less than 20% of the farming land is currently under production and where there is an abundance of labour provides opportunities, and Mike can explain these and provide support wanting more.
The recent development of an expertise in soil and cover cropping methods provides a new topic of immense value and interest.
Agri-businesses wanting to get up to speed on Zero-till and cover crops can book Mike to provide an in-house workshop that looks at machinery requirements, seeds and their mixes as well as their likely impact on farming over the next decade and more.
These are tailored for:
Finding a career in farming is an essential for many college students. For many years Mike has given presentations to both schools and colleges through the Welsh Government Dynamo scheme (now re-branded 'Go Wales'). Career choices for college students, and further education choices for those in school are important. The opportunities in the industry are often poorly understood by regular careers staff, who find the fragmentation of the industry a major difficulty.
Each issue of Practical Farm Ideas includes a Financial Focus section. Mike Donovan is an agricultural economics graduate (Reading University) and had an early career doing agricultural and food studies as a consultant at the EIU, and also edited their publication Retail Business. Talks on Ag Econ, especially in relation to farm production, have been well received.
In addition to speaking, Mike is an experienced and lively conference chairman. Well versed on the subject he is well capable of bringing a sense of humour to any farming topic, lifting the session and paving the way for speakers to do their best.
From: Becky Willson
Subject: RE: FCCT Conference Date: 4 February 2015 16:51:34 GMT
Thank you very much for chairing the day yesterday, you did a fab job and really
added to the day. I will of course keep you in mind for similar events and that subject
area is something that we are planning on running an event on in the near future.
Practical Farm Ideas is a great publication and hope that the sales continue to increase!
With kind regards, Becky