Welcome to the Institute of Agricultural Secretaries & Administrators (IAgSA)
Who are we?
The Institute of Agricultural Secretaries and Administrators (IAgSA) was incorporated in 1967 and is a professional organisation whose members offer a wide range of services to farming and rural businesses in the UK. IAgSA is respected throughout the farming and rural business industry.
What is our mission?
- To provide professional support to farm administrators and bookkeepers working in the UK rural economy.
- To support career development in rural business administration.
- To promote a high standard of professional conduct with farm and rural business administration.
What does IAgSA do?
- Maintains a membership database of all IAgSA members, which includes farm administrators, bookkeepers, rural business administrators, farm secretaries, accountants, land agents, estate administrators and others.
- Provides our members with relevant information and knowledge to assist them with their ongoing and Continuing Professional Development.
- Arranges training to help new entrants coming into the sector.
- Supports members to improve their technical knowledge and to meet other members and industry representatives through IAgSA Regional Training Days and our National Conference.
- Works to support local IAgSA Branches who provide local networks for IAgSA members across the UK.
- Engages with a wide audience via our industry-recognised monthly technical bulletin.
- Liaises and works with industry stakeholders, the government and others on farming issues that affect our members and their clients.
How do we manage ourselves?
- We follow a Constitution and Code of Conduct to provide our council and members with a framework in which to operate.
- Our Secretariat looks after the day-to-day activities of IAgSA, under the guidance of our council.
- Our Membership Panel approves all applications for membership.
- Our Disciplinary Committee ensures the good governance of membership in relation to the Code of Conduct and ethical matters.
What do we expect of our members?
- To abide by the Code of Conduct.
- To maintain and enhance their professional standards.
- To hold an Anti Money Laundering Supervisory Licence if required.
- To hold Professional Indemnity Insurance if required.
- To demonstrate continuing professional development and submit to IAgSA.
- To further the aims and objectives of IAgSA.
If you have any questions about IAgSA, please contact us.
IAgSA Council Members
Council Members help IAgSA to provide a high-quality service to our membership, giving their time and expertise, commitment and enthusiasm. Many of our Council Members work as farm administrators or bookkeepers and so have a working appreciation of the day-to-day issues within our profession.
Sally Lemonius - Chairman, Compliance & Membership Panel Representative
Sally is the current Chairman of IAgSA. She trained as a secretary and bookkeeper at the Guildford Secretarial College in Surrey in 1967. After working in Guildford and London as a PA she moved to the Isle of Wight where her parents had owned an arable farm since 1973. In 1985 she joined Harry Ferguson Farms Ltd. as their full time farm secretary working on a mixed dairy and arable holding. This included working as a PA to the family and being involved in the heritage of the Ferguson name. She became a director of the company in 1999, subsequently moving within the Harry Ferguson Group to the investment side and becoming Company Secretary of HF Holdings Ltd. She works between London and the Isle of Wight and has now been employed by the Group for over 30 years. In 1995 their land agent suggested she might help him with a bit of farm secretarial work for his farm. This escalated over the years and she still works as a farm secretary on three farms in addition to her employed job. Sally has been Chairman and Secretary of Thames & Test Branch and is currently Chairman of IAgSA with responsibility for AML & Compliance.
Christine Thompson - Vice-chairman, Associate Support & Training Representative
Christine works closely with Corporate Members and associated industry businesses to promote the activities carried out by IAgSA and, where possible, to work together on sponsorship deals. She is also the co-ordinator of our new Mentoring Scheme. Christine is a farmer’s daughter and wife, working alongside husband David on a 500-acre tenanted farm at Helmsley on the southern edge of the North York Moors National Park.
After gaining her City & Guilds – Farm Accounts qualification in 1983, Christine worked as a self-employed farm secretary until 1986. She then returned to the profession in 1993, employing and then managing a team of farm secretaries until her 'semi retirement' in 2014. During this time, Christine has been fortunate to make many contacts and friends within the Industry. An office and meeting room was built at her farm in 2004 and this now acts as the base for her current work as Secretary of the Ryedale Show. The meeting room is also made available for farming-led training events and meetings.
Rebecca Hill - Treasurer
Rebecca has held the Council post of Treasurer since July 2012, having previously served on Council from 2004-2011. As Treasurer, Rebecca is responsible for IAgSA's finances, budgeting, monitoring bank movements, approving and paying bills and expenses claims, and reporting to Council. Brought up on a dairy farm in Gloucestershire, Rebecca obtained secretarial and accounting qualifications prior to completing her NCFS at Staffordshire Agricultural College. She began her farm secretarial career working for the Farmers Secretarial Service, based in Devizes, Wiltshire before becoming self-employed, looking after the administration on about a dozen farms. The businesses range from large contract farming operations, needing twice weekly visits, to small farms needing quarterly VAT returns. A keen supporter of CPD since its inception, Rebecca also believes the branch network offers good training opportunities and would encourage all members to participate in their local branches.
Lynn Briggs - Continuing Professional Development & Membership Panel Representative
Lynn is the council member responsible for CPD and reporting to the CPD Assessor. Raised as a farmer’s daughter, she has worked within the agricultural industry all her life. With over 25 years’ experience, she has provided mobile farm secretarial services including book keeping, payroll and property management latterly in the Staffordshire / Derbyshire border area. Having been actively involved within the Staffordshire Branch, she now promotes CPD training and development to IAgSA members to raise the Institute’s Standards of Professionalism.
Ann Davies - Bulletin Editor & Membership Panel Representative
Ann studied the NCFS course at Usk Agricultural College and then continued with day release studies in C&G (City & Guilds) Farm Business Management at Dorset College of Agriculture. Ann’s clients in Worcestershire vary from a small pedigree Red Poll herd, to a 2000-acre arable farm, plus farms that have diversified into areas such as contracting, bespoke animal feeds and storage units in redundant dairy buildings. Ann has been editing the IAgSA Monthly Bulletin for more than 25 years. Over that time, there have been many changes to the way the bulletin has been produced - and Ann is looking forward to the next update.
As part of our Membership Panel, Ann is helping members to keep up the standards that have been approved by Council.
Billie Johnson - Government Liaison Representative
Billie is the Council Member responsible for liaising with Government on behalf of IAgSA. She has played an invaluable role through her participation at the RPA (Rural Payments Agency) Technical Stakeholder Group meetings. Billie is a member of the Association of Accounting Technicians and has been a member of IAgSA since 1986. She also manages her own practice providing rural business services along with helping to run the family farm.
Elin Jones - Representative for Wales & Conference 2018
Having a diverse background within farming, Elin has been a member of IAgSA for a number of years, attending annual meetings and conferences around the UK, gaining knowledge, confidence and inspiration from other members. Living in Wales, Elin feels strongly about promoting her country and profession in farm business accounting and administration. Elin values the fact that IAgSA understands the highly specialist field in which members operate - and how the Council encourages best practice by providing adequate information on all levels. Elin is also involved, on behalf of the Council, with the organisation of Regional Training Days held in two different locations within the UK.
Cathy Meredith MBE - Education & Training, College Liaison and Business Development Representative
Cathy has responsibility for the development and delivery of our training programme. After gaining her NCFS at Rodbaston College in 1969, Cathy worked as a self-employed farm secretary in Herefordshire. In 1983 she became a Lantra trainer, working across the country, delivering training to farming families and businesses. This led to further work co-ordinating and facilitating rural projects in the West Midlands. Since 2005, Cathy's core work has been as the co-ordinator for Herefordshire Rural Hub, which provides support and a sign posting service to over 1500 rural and farming businesses in the county. This is complemented by the delivery of training and information events to farmers and farming groups.
Emma Powell - Branches Representative
Emma lives near the Hampshire/Wiltshire border and her role is to liaise between the Council and our branches. After being made redundant from a part-time bookkeeping role for Farms and Estates, Emma decided to become a self-employed farm secretary and has been in the role for more than 10 years.
She has been on the committee of the Thames and Test Branch for a number of years, serving recently as Chairman for the last few. Emma has a Level 3 Certificate in Rural Business Administration and regularly attends training courses and workshops.