The show always goes on to support community

The Yorkshire Agricultural Society is best known for organising the Great Yorkshire Show every July. For those three days, over 130,000 visitors converge on the showground and we are often asked afterwards, what we do for the remaining 362 days of the year?

Kate Dale, co-ordinator of the Yorkshire Rural Support Network.

The Great Yorkshire Show is actually only a small part of what the Society does and it’s my job to co-ordinate the Yorkshire Rural Support Network which offers practical, financial and medical help for the farming community.

The network is funded by the society and brings together statutory and voluntary agencies to promote and provide sources of help for farmers in need.

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As a partner in our own farming business, I am well aware of how tough the industry can be. It can be an isolating profession and farmers are usually the last ones to put themselves first. We know they would rather take their animal to the vet than make time to get themselves checked by the doctor, so we bring the medic to them!

Throughout the year we organise for nurses to carry out free farmer health checks at auction marts, the Great Yorkshire Show and various events throughout the county.

The next one will be on Thursday, November 30 at Thirsk Mart Christmas Fatstock Show from 11am to 1pm.

Other dates include: Wednesday, January 10 at Ripon Farm Services Open Day at Great Yorkshire Showground, Harrogate. Thursday, January 11 at Farmstar Open Day, Marr, near Doncaster and Wednesday, February 7 at Yorkshire Machinery Show, Murton, York.

These are open to any farmers with health concerns, please do come along.

We also bring together women who live and work on farms and in agricultural businesses.

The Women in Farming group aims to provide networking opportunities and support for ladies in the agricultural world and we run regular meetings which are hugely popular and will be held again in the New Year.

A Farming Community Lunch will be held at Middleton Village Hall, near Pickering, on Thursday, November 30 at 12.30pm. Contact Helen Benson E:[email protected] or 01677 470180

We do much work with the Royal Agricultural Benevolent Institution which is running a series of social events in the run-up to Christmas.

This includes: Farmhouse Breakfast, Piercebridge, Co. Durham on Tuesday, November 21 and Friday, December 1.

A Christmas Concert, Swinton Castle, Masham on Monday, December 4 and Christmas Carol Service, York Auction Mart on Thursday, December 7.

Finally, there’s an Advent afternoon tea at Bishop Wilton village hall on Sunday, December 10. Contact Sally Conner 01964 541400 [email protected]

We would also like the farming community to join us at The Plough Service at Ripon’s Cathedral on Sunday, January 14 2018 with refreshments from 2pm and the service at 3pm. Everyone welcome.

Providing these networking opportunities is a great way of bringing together the farming community and providing support on every level we can.

By joining forces with the likes of the RABI, NFU and CLA, we are a stronger voice and we look forward to going from strength to strength.