Farm secretaries celebrate 50 years of IAgSA
- Credit: Archant
Agricultural secretaries have celebrated the 50th anniversary of a body set up to promote high standards in the farm office.
Around 130 farm secretaries were at the Institute of Agricultural Secretaries and Administrators (IAgSA) annual conference, which took place at Walton Hall Hotel in Warwickshire over three days from March 3.
Among the guests were IAgSA patron and former farming minister Sir Jim Paice, who is based near the Cambridgeshire/Suffolk border, and Minette Batters, deputy president of the National Farmers’ Union (NFU).
The heads of three farming charities, Paul Burrows of the Royal Agricultural Benevolent Institution (RABI), Charles Smith of Farming Community Network and Ian Bell of the Addington Fund, stressed the importance of organisations working together to support farmers with the challenges they will face when the UK leaves the European Union.
Keynote speakers included James Attrill of rural property consultants, who outlined the issues raised when handing on the farm business, and Helen King of chartered accountants Ellacotts, who examined the tax implications of succession.
Jane Aylwin from Added Perspective Accounting gave delegates an insight how she runs her cloud-based practice, offering fully collaborative book-keeping and accountancy support to small and medium-sized businesses.
A series of workshops were accountants, lawyers, software companies and the farming industry in general.
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On the final day of the conference, Minette Batters gave members an insight into her journey into becoming the first female deputy president of the NFU, while Sir Jim Paice gave a candid view of the current political landscape.
Fourteen past IAgSA chairmen attended the anniversary event, and the celebratory cake was cut by the former chairmen Margaret Dixon (1982-83) and Sylvia Jones (1986-89). Past chairmen Nancy Sloan (1992-94), Fiona Ives (2004-06) and Tim Cartwright (2010-13) shared more memories and moments from IAgSA’s 50-year history at a gala dinner.
Outgoing chairman, Cathy Meredith, who championed the IAgSA Farm Accounting and Business Administration Programme, was awarded an MBE for services to the rural and farming community during her term in office.