The Farm Office ‘bible’ is back

THE Farm Office Handbook, a well-regarded reference book for anyone involved in farm paperwork, has been officially launched by Farming Minister Jim Paice at the Institute of Agricultural Secretaries and Administrators (IAgSA) national conference in Shropshire.

The new handbook is firmly rooted in Suffolk. Mike Hosken, who for many years ran the Farm Training Centre at Chadacre, based near Bury St Edmunds, wrote a book called Farm Office, a practical guide to farm paperwork first published in 1976.

It quickly established a reputation as the ‘farm office bible’. Now Mr Hosken has helped one of his former students, Jenny Pine, and a small team of IAgSA members, to produce an updated version.

Ms Pine, who was on the City & Guilds Farm Records course which the book was designed to support, went on to pursue a career in farm administration and became involved with IAgSA. She was national chairman of the professional body from 2000 to 2001.

The Farm Office had last been updated in 1991 and Mike Hosken had retired. The book was greatly missed and IAgSA was contacted from time to time requesting an update. A small team of IAgSA members, lead by Ms Pine, decided to get on with the task. She was able to track down Mike Hosken to his home in Northumberland and ask him about the possibility of producing an update. She also had links with the Chadacre Agricultural Trust which gave some financial support for the team, with help from Mike Hosken, to undertake a complete revision of Farm Office. The outcome is an easy-to-use paperback of 220 pages with around 50 tables.

The new title, Farm Office Handbook, better describes this first point of reference which includes a huge range of web addresses for contacts and detailed information useful for the many farming and ancillary rural enterprises having to process the myriad of information required to run a successful business today.

Priced at �19.95 + p&p, the Farm Office Handbook book is available direct from Old Pond Publishing on 01473 238200 or by visiting www.oldpond.com. Alternatively, contact IAgSA on 01926 485543.