Having developed a political interest through representing UK Young Farmers in Europe, Sir James was MP for South East Cambridgeshire from 1987 to 2015.
He held a number of Government and Opposition positions before he became Minister for Agriculture and Food during the coalition government. He continues to be active in farming and countryside matters.
As well as running his own small farm Sir James is currently Chairman of the Game and Wildlife Conservation Trust, a Director of Camgrain, a Governor of The Kings School Ely and Vice President of the Highland Cattle Society.
Sir James was knighted in 2012 for political service, and was appointed a Deputy Lieutenant of Cambridgeshire in 2013.