Why farming must count on strong leadership as Yorkshire Agricultural Society names new chief executive – The Yorkshire Post says

NO country or sector of the economy is now immune from the Ukraine crisis – and agriculture is already feeling the pinch as concerns grow about a global surge in wheat prices and a need for greater self-sufficiency.

It is also the invidious backdrop that will confront Allister Nixon after he was named as the new chief executive of Yorkshire Agricultural Society in succession to Nigel Pulling who is retiring at the end of this month after two decades of outstanding leadership and service.

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Yet, while these, proverbially-speaking, are big boots to fill, Mr Nixon is well-qualified to lead the YAS and Great Yorkshire Show into a new era – he enjoyed a successful career in business before gaining hands-on experience over the past six years as the Castle Howard estate’s chief operating officer.

Allister Nixon is the new chief executive of Yorkshire Agricultural Society.

For, while it is heartening that he wants to help farming and the wider rural economy to maximise its potential, it comes at a time when there are fears over the extent to which the Government’s levelling up agenda is marginalising countryside communities – concerns set out by CLA president Mark Tufnell in The Yorkshire Post yesterday.

Like Yorkshire Agricultural Society, the County Land and Business Association prefers to have a positive relationship with the London Government. But when individuals like Mr Tufnell accuse Ministers of treating “the countryside as a museum”, and having no plan to assist rural areas where there are pockets of deep poverty as a result of decades of political neglect, it is even more important that Yorkshire farming can count on strong leadership from the top.

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Nigel Pulling is retiring as chief executive of Yorkshire Agricultural Society at the end of this month.
Mark Tufnell is president of the CLA.