After school in North Manchester I worked as a farm labourer in Surrey for a year before university. I studied at the University of Reading (BSc Agricultural Economics), McMaster University (MA Economics), and the London School of Economics and Political Science (PhD Economics, University of London) where the late Tim Josling was my PhD supervisor. I then worked for four years as a junior administrator for the Commission of the European Communities in Brussels, in DG VI (the Directorate-General for Agriculture). I returned to the University of Reading in 1977 as a lecturer in Agricultural Economics, and was appointed to the chair in Agricultural Economics in 1988. Although I ‘retired’ in 2008, I am still actively engaged in research. I am also available to undertake consultancy projects.