2011 AGM minutes

Minutes of the 59th Annual General Meeting of the British Agricultural History society held at Easton College, Norfolk at 6pm on Tuesday 12th April 2011

The meeting began at 6.30pm
Present: There were 29 members of the Society present. The Chair was taken by Dr John Broad, Chairman of the Executive Committee. Officers of the Society present were Prof A. J. Howkins (President), Dr N J Verdon (Secretary), Prof R W Hoyle (Editor, Agricultural History Review), Dr H French (Book Review Editor). Apologies were received from Brian Short, Gavin Bowie, and Alan Hunter.
539 Minutes of the 58th meeting were approved as an accurate record of the meeting.
540 Matters arising from the minutes: None
541 Elections of Officers of the Executive committee
The following were nominated and elected unopposed:
President: Prof Alun Howkins
Treasurer: Dr Hilary Crowe
Secretary: Dr Nicola Verdon
Editor: Prof Richard Hoyle
Book Review Editor: Prof Henry French

The Chair thanked Prof Mark Overton, the outgoing Treasurer, for his work on behalf of the Society.

542 Election of Ordinary members of the Executive committee
Prof Mark Overton will now become an Ordinary Member of the EC.
Dr Ben Dodds has resigned from the EC.
3 members of the current EC have served their 4-year term and are eligible for re-election: Prof C. Dyer, Dr J. Martin and Dr. M. Yates
2 people were nominated and elected unopposed: Dr Paul Brassley and Dr Ruth Tittensor

543 Report by Chairman of the Executive Committee
Dr Broad announced the continuing publication and success of RHT. Dr Susanna Wade Martins was thanked for all her on the publication work this year. The British Library has asked for the whole back catalogue of RHT for deposit. Dr Martins encouraged the AGM to continue to submit short articles, notices of conferences and publications, and news of other societies.
The Chair thanked Prof Mark Overton, the outgoing Treasurer, for his work on behalf of the Society over many years, especially his work on electronic databases, and to Meemee Overton, the Treasurer’s Assistant. Dr Hilary Crowe was thanked for agreeing to be Treasurer and Melissa Dewland was welcomed as the new Treasurer’s Assistant.
It was reported that this had been a busy year for the Society. The Rural History 2010 conference at the University of Sussex in September ran very successfully bringing together attendees from all over the world and showcased rural interests around the globe. The event was financially rewarding for the Society. Nicola Verdon, Richard Hoyle and Catherine Glover were thanked for their work on organising that event. At the conference Prof Hoyle was elected as President of the new EURHO (European Rural History Organisation), which brings together all the European rural history societies. The BAHS has made a pump-priming contribution to the setting up of this organisation.
This year the journal has also been fully digitised through JSTOR and INGENTA. This helps our online profile. Financially this has been dealt with by increasing our institutional subscriptions over the next few years to around £120 per annum. Although we may lose some subscriptions by doing this, the move should provide an income source for the Society in the future. Everyone should receive a subscription number by which they can access the journal online.
It was reported that a meeting had been held between representatives of the Society and ADAS with regard to the retention of archival records.  The Chairman will be following this up over the coming year.
Collaborative conference with the Veterinary Society has not proved possible for Winter 2011 but may be so in the future.
Officers and EC members were thanked for their work on behalf of the Society for the year.
544 Report from the Treasurer
Membership numbers were reported as still declining slightly overall (both individual and institutional) despite the fact that membership is still very good value for money. Membership forms, bankers orders and Gift Aid forms are now all online and hopefully this should aid membership. The Treasurer was asked whether the Society had considered more flexible membership. This will be taken back to the EC for discussion.
Income and expenditure account were more healthy this year than last. Last year a deficit of over 5K (largely due to supplement production) was turned into a surplus of over 12K, some accounted for by rises in Gift Aid, gains in our investment portfolio and income from RH2010. The balance sheet also shows significant increase. The Society will need to monitor how the institutional rise settles down over time. 
The accounts were approved by the AGM.
345 Report from the Editors
Professor Hoyle reported that two parts of the journal were successfully delivered on time last year containing 11 papers, 45 reviews over 320 pages. Part I for this year is in proof and will go to press next week to be delivered in early June. The AGM were shown the contents of 59 Part I. The submission of papers carries much the same as usual: more material and choice would be welcomed but there is a good flow overall. Submissions trends are showing more European papers than British, which may mean the nature of the journal will change over time and raises issue over balance. The digitisation of the journal was welcomed by the Editor.
It was also reported that an Essay competition will be launched to celebrate the 60th anniversary of the Review, with details to follow in Part I 2012. Part II will be an extended issue with the usual British papers and book reviews together with a bloc of papers on land and rural society in Eastern Europe. To cover the extra costs of this external funding had been sought: a grant of 2500 Euro had been received from the Austrian government and a grant application to the Scoludi Foundation was awaiting a decision.
The Editor thanked referees of articles, Henry French, the book review editor, and Catherine Glover for proof-reading and dealing with Carnegi.

346 Any other business
Dr Jane Whittle announced the Tawney conference will take place at the University of Exeter in July 2011
Prof Tom Williamson was thanked for his work on the fieldtrip.
Dr Ruth Tittensor pointed out that the Forestry Commission doesn’t have an archivist. Prof Hoyle pointed out that there is a FC archive in the National Archives who select which papers to retain and see it as their responsibility to collect policy documents only. It was suggested that the advisory committee to TNA could be approached to review their collection policy. Prof Howkins offered to intervene on behalf of the Society as President.
The Winter conference will take place at the IHR on 3 December 2011, and will be on the theme of ‘Food security in historical perspective’.

547 Date of next meeting
Tuesday April 3rd 2012