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Agricultural Minister becomes Patron of Institute

James Paice, the Minister of State for Agriculture & Food, has become the Patron for the Institute of Agricultural Secretaries and Administrators (IAgSA), the professional body for rural bookkeepers and administrators.

From schooldays James has a long association with the countryside, having spent two years working on farms before attending Writtle Agricultural College and starting a career in farm management. In his youth and early twenties, Jim was active in the Young Farmers movement, representing the UK on the European Council of Young Farmers.

He became the Conservative MP for South East Cambridgeshire in 1987 and spent the majority of his time in Opposition as the Conservative Shadow Minister for Agriculture and Rural Affairs. In 2010 he was re-elected as MP for South East Cambridgeshire for a sixth term, and the Prime Minister appointed him Minister of State for Agriculture & Food within the coalition government.

James ( or Jim as he prefers to be called) said I am delighted to be to be involved with an organisation that is so passionate about agriculture and the workings of the farming life and who are aware of all the issues involved. I look forward very much to working with them

Tim Cartwright, IAgSAs Chair commented “We are honoured to have Jim Paice as our Patron, He will bring a new dimension to our organization and we welcome his support and advice”.

James Paice

He lives in Fordham in Cambridgeshire with his wife of 37 years, Ava. They have two grown up sons. In what little spare time he has, Jim enjoys country pursuits, tending to his small herd of highland cattle and spending time with his family.

IAgSA is a professional body for farm secretaries and administrators.

The organisations main objectives are:

  • To provide the facilities of a professional institute which may benefit those persons acting as agricultural secretaries or rural administrators
  • To improve the standard of and encourage the extensive use of agricultural secretaries and rural administrators
  • To arrange for formal and informal training facilities.
  • To liaise with the appropriate educational authorities regarding the appropriate training and examination requirements of agricultural secretaries.
  • To establish and maintain a high standard of professional conduct for Institute members
  • To establish a branch network across the UK and elsewhere
  • To facilitate the exchange of information

When the Institute was set up there was government funding available to support the training needs of the membership. Farming has gone through lean times more recently and a scaling down of employment on farms has meant that the role of an agricultural secretary has become a lonely one. In addition the paperwork required by government has increased dramatically and farmers are having to become more computer literate as much of the filing of information has to be done on-line. The need for qualified, experienced administrative assistance has therefore increased and the demands on those offering these services have changed dramatically. The IAgSA can be a lifeline to its members, enabling them to carry out their work professionally and to a high standard.

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