The man who will lead the Great Yorkshire Show and Countryside Live into the next decade has been announced. Charles Mills, who farms near York, will succeed Bill Cowling as Honorary Show Director, at the close of this year’s Great Yorkshire on Thursday 16 July. Bill is stepping down after ten years in post, though his involvement will continue, as a member of the cattle committee.
Over the years Charles has held a number of roles within the Yorkshire Agricultural Society, including Joint Chief Cattle Steward and as a member of the Society’s Council, its governing body. Away from the showground, his roles include chairing the Yorkshire Food, Farming and Rural Network. The Network raises concerns and issues from the county’s rural businesses and farmers to Government.
Announcing the appointment, Society Chairman, Simon Theakston said: “I am delighted that Charles is to be our new Honorary Show Director, succeeding Bill at the close of this year’s Great Yorkshire. He will continue the Society’s strong tradition of putting agriculture and rural life at the heart of our flagship event, as well as the continued success of our autumn event, Countryside Live.”
A Yorkshireman by birth, Charles farms at Woolas Grange, Appleton Roebuck, York which is a mixed arable rotation, with a 250 ewe flock as well as a small beef finishing enterprise.
Over the years his roles within the Society have been wide ranging. He has been a member of Council since 2002, he chairs the judging panel for the annual Tye Trophy Farming Awards which promotes farming excellence coupled with conservation practices, and has been a cattle steward for the last 11 years.
He has also played a significant role in the Society’s work with young people, serving on its Grants and Education Committee and running arable workshops at the Countryside Days event for primary school children held each June. He is also a member of the management committee of the Future Farmers of Yorkshire which was set up and is run by the Society.
Closer to home he is Vice Chairman of the Ainsty (2008) Internal Drainage Board, a past President of Tadcaster and Wetherby Young Farmers and a member of both the NFU and CLA.
A first taste of his new position will come at this year’s Great Yorkshire which runs from Tuesday 14 – Thursday 16 July when he will shadow Bill before accepting the crook of office in the show’s closing ceremony.