Conservative MP Jim Paice has been announced as farming minister in the new DEFRA line-up.

Mr Paice will join Caroline Spelman, who was handed the environment secretary role on Wednesday.

A former farm manager and shadow farm minister since 2004, Mr Paice will be seen as a popular choice among farmers for his agricultural background and knowledge.

He has been outspoken in his support for a targeted badger cull to tackle bovine TB and for a watchdog to monitor retailer behaviour towards suppliers.

JIM PAICE in a minute:

| Something of a stalwart of agricultural politics, former farm manager Jim Paice became an MP in 1987.

| Born in Suffolk, he studied Agriculture at Writtle Agricultural College, after which he spent 17 years as a farmer, farm manager and contractor.

| He became a training manager at Framlingham Management and Training Services and later a director at United Framlingham Farmers.

| He has held the South East Cambridgeshire seat for the last 23 years, becoming a parliamentary private secretary at MAFF and spokesman for Agriculture, Fisheries and Food in 1997.

| He was appointed Shadow Minister for Home, Constitutional and Legal Affairs before becoming Shadow Minister for Agriculture in September 2004.

| Mr Paice lives in Fordham with his wife, Ava.


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