James received his Bachelor’s degree in Agronomy from Western Kentucky University and his Master’s Degree in Soil Chemistry from Auburn University. His Master’s Thesis was on The Impact of Water-Insoluble Phosphorus Compounds on the Performance of MAP Fertilizers. His professional start involved testing soils and other agricultural products at Auburn University (2 years), the University of Florida (10 years) and A&L Laboratories Memphis (1 year). He accepted a position as a Regulatory Specialist at the University of Kentucky Division of Regulatory Services (4 years), which allowed him to be closer to family, and he currently works as the Fertilizer Laboratory Supervisor at the Office of Indiana State Chemist at Purdue University. James has been chair of the AAPFCO Laboratory Services Committee since 2009, interim chair of the AAPFCO Slow Release Committee since 2014 and has served on the Board of Directors from 2013 to 2019 and as AAPFCO president in 2018. He also serves on several other regional, national, and international committees and working groups.