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Lord Rooker to visit Harper Adams

Posted 4 October 2006

Students at Harper Adams University College will be putting their questions to the top tomorrow.

On October 5th the Harper Forum, a student discussion group, will be questioning Lord Rooker, Deputy Leader of the Lords and Minister of State (Lords) for Sustainable Farming and Food.

The question session will follow a tour of the Newport-based campus with Professor Wynne Jones, Principal of Harper Adams. Throughout the afternoon tour there will be presentations by staff about the work of the university college.

Professor Jones said he was pleased to welcome Lord Rooker to Harper Adams: “We are pleased that Lord Rooker accepted the invitation of the students and I am sure he is very interested to hear the views of the young people on the future of the food and farming industry.

“The meeting will also give our students the opportunity to find out more and possibly challenge some areas of policy making. We are very keen that our students are exposed to the most senior policy makers in the country as they themselves are the future.”

Lord Rooker’s responsibilities cover Sustainable farming and food strategy, Common Agricultural Policy (CAP), Rural Payments Agency (RPA), Horticulture, Agri-environment, Trade issues, Food industry, Levy bodies, Organics, Plant health, plant varieties and seeds, Departmental science (incl. Central Science Laboratory (CSL) and Centre for Environment, Fisheries and Aquaculture Science (CEFAS).

He is also responsible for Chemicals, Pesticides, Pesticides Safety Directorate (PSD), Nano-technology, Kew, Covent Garden Market Authority, Departmental Administration (including Equality and Diversity) and Efficiency (Gershon)/Freedom of Information as well as being responsible for all Defra business in the House of Lords.

Lord Rooker started his ministerial career in 1997 as Minister of State at the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food and was appointed Minister of State at the Northern Ireland Office on May 9 2005. In July 1999 he was Minister of State for Social Security and in 2001 became Minister of State at the Home Office in the House of Lords.

At the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister he was the Minister of State for Housing, Planning and Regeneration before being appointed Minister for Regeneration and Regional Development on 13 June 2003.

Before entering government, Jeff Rooker held a series of opposition posts. He left the House of Commons at the 2001 election, after which he was enobled in June 2001. He had been MP for Perry Barr, Birmingham since 1974.

Prior to becoming an MP, he was an apprentice engineer and a member of the Birmingham Education Committee. He was born in 1941 and educated at Aston and Warwick universities. He is a chartered engineer.

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