Introduction to IAgSAIAgSA Council MembersUseful web links

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.

Christine Thompson – Chairman & Training Representative

Christine is a farmer’s daughter and wife, working alongside husband David on a 600-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. Christine joined the IAgSA Training Team in 2017 and is now the IAgSA Training Representative. 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 General Secretary of the Ryedale Show. She is also a Council Member and Trustee of the Yorkshire Agricultural Society.

Emma Powell – Vice Chairman and 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.

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

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 a co-opted 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.

Sally Lemonius

Sally trained as a secretary and bookkeeper at the Guildford Secretarial College in Surrey in 1967. After working 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 farm secretary on their 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 subsequently moved within the Group to the investment side 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. Over the years she has also worked for a number of smaller farms on the Isle of Wight in her spare time.  Sally has been Chairman and Secretary of the Thames & Test Branch and National Chairman with responsibility for AML & Compliance.  She remains on the membership panel.

Hannah Stevenson

Hannah grew up on an arable farm in South West Norfolk.  She left East Anglia to study for a degree in psychology at the University of Lancaster and then spent 8 years working in the brewing industry as a Sales Forecaster and Pricing Manager.  After having children Hannah and her husband moved to Suffolk, to be closer to family, where she did an IAB bookkeeping qualification and Units 2 – 4 of the IAgSA training programme.  She is a self employed farm secretary with 4 clients, covering arable, veg, pigs and free range eggs.  She was one of the first mentees to benefit from the mentor programme and is passionate about helping others to tap into the enormous amount of experience that exists within the IAgSA membership through this programme.
She is also secretary of the Suffolk branch.

Louise Templeton

Louise was born in Cumbria, daughter of an accountant and granddaughter of a dairy farmer. She studied at Bishop Burton qualifying as a farm secretary in 1985 and remained in Yorkshire until 1990 working in the seed trade as a crop inspector and seed sampler. On her return to Cumbria she worked at Borderway Mart in the Pedigree Department with responsibility mainly for dairy sales where she met her husband. Following the birth of their two daughters, she decided to return to her roots of farm secretarial work, working freelance for a large farm consultancy firm for two years until the contract came to an end, and then she became self-employed. The majority of her business is farm bookkeeping, although she also bookkeeps for her clients’ diversified businesses. In her spare time she is involved with the local County Show and also is current chairman of the Cumbria Branch of the Northern Counties Ponies Association. 

Useful Weblinks

IAgSA members often need to liaise with a wide range of organisations for help, advice, services and support . We've gathered together a concise directory of useful phone numbers and web links to save you time - and to put you in touch with the right people.

Industry Links Rural Payments Agency (RPA) Environment Health & Safety Government (Registration is required to access government online services) British Cattle Movements Service (BCMS) Farming Advice Service (FAS) Scotland Wales

Farming Charities

Farming Community Network 03000 111 999 RABI 0808 2819490 RSABI/Gatepost 0300 111 4166 You Are Not Alone (YANA) 0300 323 0400 Farming Help 0845 367 9990 Addington Fund 01926 620 135 Counselling Directory 0844 8030 240 Rural Support Wales 01686 629480

Farm Software Companies

Agridata Software program is suitable for beef, dairy and sheep enterprises Farmdata Management Systems Software programs for livestock, crops, financial and payroll Farmplan Computer Systems Farm accounts, livestock and GateKeeper cropping software for UK farm record management. Support, training and IT services also available. FarmWorks by Shearwell Data Complete management program for the cattle and sheep farmer with data transfer capabilities Landmark Systems Simple, cost-effective software for accounting and property management. Lines Mitchell Farm management software for all your Cross Compliance, EID, Cattle, Sheep, Arable, NVZ, Vet and Medicine records and Single Farm Payment applications. Muddy Boots Comprehensive, easy-to-use, farm recording solutions that manage all aspects of crop production. Planet Nutrient management software and compliance with the Nitrate Vulnerable Zones (NVZ) regulations. Sum-It Computer Systems Integrated farm management software for farm accounts, dairy, beef, sheep and field records.