Businessman Sir Tim Smit, founder of the conservation visitor attraction The Eden Project.

“The front line of the national interest is you. It is about feeding people. Alongside that, it is about keeping the soil fertile so we can feed them again, and again, and again.”

University of Oxford Professor Sir Charles Godfray, speaking about the UK’s agricultural policy budget after Brexit.

“That £3bn is very vulnerable now that it's not protected by the European Union. Arguing that it will be used for public goods is an absolutely strong way of protecting it. We do need to have a discussion about what do we mean by public goods.”

Devon dairy farmer and cheese maker Mary Quicke, speaking about farmers who would rather pass their farm on to a son than a daughter.

“Just get over yourselves, please.”

Jason Hafemeister from the United States Department of Agriculture.

“To feed the planet in the year 2050 under the current productivity levels of the world’s farmers will entail elimination of nearly all the remaining forest on the planet. This really highlights the importance of increasing our productivity. How do we get more while using less.”

World champion wheelchair racer Samantha Kinghorn, who was paralysed from the waist down as teenager.

“There is always someone who wishes they were in your situation. There were people in my spinal unit who were paralysed from the neck down. Your life can change in an instant. Life can be short, or it can be very long. Why would you spend any of that time doing something you don’t enjoy.”

Read more coverage from the conference in next week's Irish Farmers Journal and at