A farm club has paid tribute to its longstanding secretary as he stands down after 15 years in the job.

Alan Gray has played a pivotal role at Deben Farm Club - organising outings, trips abroad, talks, publicity and meetings.

Through his efforts, members have visited far-flung farm enterprises and welcomed a host of high-profile speakers. Highlights have included trips to Brazil, Hungary, Italy, Australia and Ukraine.

Alan - who is from a farming family based near Framlingham - is a sales manager at Origin Fertilisers. The business has a factory at Cliff Quay, Ipswich, and is based in Royston, Hertfordshire.

He joined the club about 25 years ago - following in the footsteps of his father who was also a member.

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"I think the best bit is meeting lots of new people, new speakers and going on the trips we have had abroad and in the UK - and the farm walks," he said. 

He succeeded the late John Leaman as secretary - having been persuaded to take on the role by Woodbridge farmer Bruce Kerr, a former chairman. He has greatly enjoyed his time, he said.

One of the highlights was 2012 when the club celebrated its 60th year with a trip to Brazil and Chile. 

He was given honorary life membership of the club - and a leather-bound drinks case in recognition of all his efforts.

Club chairman Richard Scott and deputy Oliver Pipe praised Alan's "unwavering support" for the club over a long period of time.

The club, a farm discussion group based in East Suffolk, has about 130 members. It started in 1952 and is still going strong with regular talks and get-togethers.

Its aim was to promote the benefits of good agricultural practices to increase yields after the Second World War.

Today it still aims to bring rural people together to share ideas and practices. It is open to anyone who has an interest in the countryside and enjoys meeting and socialising with like-minded people in a relaxed atmosphere.

Alan is succeeded in the role by Andrew Cooper.