CAAV sees bright future with new presidential team

L-R James Dick, Nick Millard and Geoff Coster
L-R James Dick, Nick Millard and Geoff Coster

The Central Association of Agricultural Valuers invested a new presidential team at its AGM today (24 June), bringing a broad spectrum of experience to the helm.

The Association, which represents over 2700 professional members across a range of agricultural and rural professional work, will be headed up by incoming President Nick Millard. A partner at Totnes-based land agents Michelmore Hughes, Mr Millard also lectures in land management at Reading University, is a visiting research fellow at Exeter University and is former Chairman of the CAAV’s Valuation Taxation and Compensation committee.

“It’s a great privilege to be put forward for President,” he says. “One of my efforts over the coming year will be to bring a more diverse range of people into the profession. I really feel the countryside and our profession need to be more accessible; industries only survive if they attract new blood so it’s important to attract enthusiastic and bright new entrants.”

Stepping up to the Senior Vice President’s role will be James Dick, a sole practitioner near Aberdeen who was previously President of the Scottish Agricultural Arbiters and Valuers’ Association. He plans to highlight the special skills that agricultural valuers have, which equip them to carry out work across a very broad spread of rural matters. “I’d like to increase awareness of members’ capabilities both among the general agricultural industry and fellow professionals like solicitors, accountants and bank managers, with whom we work so frequently.”

Completing the triumvirate will be Geoff Coster, Senior Agricultural Valuation Specialist at the Valuation Office Agency. “This is the first time in our 106-year existence that we’ve had anyone on the presidential team from the public sector,” says Jeremy Moody, Secretary and Adviser to the CAAV. “The team represents the range of membership of the Association, and each brings different skills and backgrounds to the role.”

As CAAV members act for every side of rural valuation – whether landlord, tenant, utility company or HMRC – bringing Mr Coster onto the presidential team offers a valuable insight into the workings of the public sector. “I can provide a bridge between the two worlds, and I’m keen to promote the CAAV to a wider client base,” says Mr Coster. “I’m also very keen on the maintenance of professional standards: Fellows of the CAAV provide a service that is second to none.”

Adding to the ‘firsts’ for the CAAV, Mr Millard is the first academic to serve on the presidential team.  With the CAAV being one of agriculture’s few UK-wide organisations, Mr Dick will be its first Scottish President next year, says Mr Moody. “This group reflects the wide breadth of our profession,” he adds. “They’ve all given a huge amount of time to the work of the Association and as examiners in our professional exams.  I am confident that they will drive the CAAV from strength to strength.”