The new President of the Yorkshire Agricultural Society, Lord Middleton, has taken office for 2016/17, in the closing ceremony of the 158th Great Yorkshire Show.
As England’s premier agricultural event drew to a close, Lord Middleton received the staff of office from the outgoing President, Mrs Sarah York, following in the footsteps of a host of illustrious names including members of the Royal family. There is also a strong family tradition as Lord Middleton’s great grandfather, grandfather and father held the post in 1899, 1936 and 1976.
The Yorkshire Agricultural Society is a charity and is best known as the organiser of the annual farming and rural showcase and its autumn event, Countryside Live. However, year round it supports and promotes agriculture and the countryside through awards, scholarships through its organisations which include Future Farmers of Yorkshire.
Lord Middleton is a Director of Birdsall Estates near Malton, a traditional family business, with let farms and housing. Some 7,000 acres is farmed in hand, mainly on the Yorkshire Wolds. The enterprise includes wheat, barley, vining peas and oil seed rape and an area is also let for growing seed potatoes. Birdsall Estate has a stabiliser suckler cow herd, selling the offspring for breeding or as fatstock. It runs a commercial shoot and events at Birdsall House. In recognition of the commitment to conservation as well as modern farming practices, the estate was chosen as the winner of the Tye Trophy Award in 2008. It is home to a colony of rare bats and four sites of special scientific interest and has been in High Level Stewardship for nine years.
During his year of office Lord Middleton will represent the Society at events both at the 250-acre showground and around the region, preside at meetings as well as providing guidance and support to the Society’s Board of Trustees.