A FREE annual public Christmas lecture is set to explore the role of big data and technology in farming. 

The event, which ran for the first time in 2022, offers a festive-themed take on a topical area of interest in one of Hartpury University's specialist industries. Last year, the lecture was led by Professor Steve Draper who spoke about the Clem Burke Drumming Project. 

This year, the Christmas lecture will be run by Hartpury's Director of Agriculture, professor Matt Bell. The event takes place at the university's Gloucestershire campus on December 6 at 6:30pm. Free mulled wine and mince pies will be served before and after. 

You can attend the event for free but will need to register here

Matt will talk about agri-technologies and innovations that produce new solutions to address issues surrounding food. He is an expert in agricultural systems and sustainable food production, and has an interest in the relationships between animals, plants, soils, nutrients, water and the ever-changing climate. 

Earlier this year, Matt created a breeding index that would enable farmers to select dairy cows based on traits that are key to enhancing sustainability (such as milk production, health, fertility and lifespan). 

Steve, who is academic dean and professor of research and knowledge exchange at the university, said: “We’re looking forward to our second ever annual public Christmas lecture and can’t wait to switch our attention to agriculture and farming, an industry right at the heart of Hartpury’s long history.

“Matt is an expert in his field and will be bringing his fascinating and impactful research to life, showing the remarkable ways technology and big data are addressing the challenges of feeding a growing global population.

“We’re committed to ensuring the annual lecture is firmly established in the Hartpury calendar, offering an exciting way to present science and research to the community. As well as being interesting and entertaining, events like these can also inspire the next generation of students and researchers.”