Farm office ‘bible’ with roots in Suffolk ‘is a must’, says lead author

The latest edition of the Farm Office Handbook, whose lead author is Jenny Pine of Shimpling, near B

The latest edition of the Farm Office Handbook, whose lead author is Jenny Pine of Shimpling, near Bury St Edmunds. The handbook has been compiled by the Institute of Agricultural Secretaries adn Administrators. - Credit: Archant

A farm office administrators’ ‘bible’, which has its roots in Suffolk, has been updated and re-launched.

Jenny Pine and Hannah Stevenson at the Institute of Agricultural Secretaries and Administrators (IAg

Jenny Pine and Hannah Stevenson at the Institute of Agricultural Secretaries and Administrators (IAgSA) annual conference in Warwickshire, at which the Farm Office Handbook was launched. - Credit: Archant

Jenny Pine, Suffolk branch chairman and former national chairman of the Institute of Agricultural Secretaries and Administrators (IAgSA), is lead author of the latest Farm Office Handbook.

The first publication, published in 1976, was written by Mike Hosken, who ran the Farm Training Centre at the Chadacre Agricultural Institute which was based near Bury St Edmunds.

Jenny, who was one of Mike’s students on the City & Guilds Farm Records and Accounts course, now runs her own business, Agriconsult Ltd, based at Shimpling, near Bury St Edmunds, and carries out administrative work for farm businesses, including that of farmer John Pawsey, of Shimpling Park Farm.

“The industry kept saying to us: ‘We want another book,’ she explained. “Eventually, we said, OK, we’ll do it.”


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The book was initially updated and re-launched by IAgSA in 2012, and published by Old Pond of Ipswich. It has now been updated again, with the support of the Chadacre Agricultural Trust, with comprehensive guidance on a range administrative topics, from employment issues to accounting.

The chapters on VAT and payroll and statutory and assurance records have been thoroughly revised in the second edition to incorporate changes made since the first edition was published in 2012, as has advice on employment rules and cross-compliance.

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“It’s a unique book - there’s nothing else out there,” said Jenny, who led the team of six experienced farm administrators who compiled the advice. “Really in these uncertain times with Brexit, farmers have really got to get their heads around their costings and take their farm office seriously.”

Sir Jim Paice, patron of IAgSA and farming minister from 2010 to 2012, said in his foreword: “It is a useful addition to any farm office as it gives a complete overview of what is expected from the administration of a farm from managing accounts to dealing with office logistics.”

The Farm Office Handbook, priced £19.95 plus post and packaging, is available from IAgSA at www.IAgSA or Old Pond Publishing at www.Oldpond.com.

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