A Ryedale man has been appointed to lead the National Farmers’ Union on behalf of members in Yorkshire and the North East.
Regional director Richard Pearson, an experienced farming specialist, grew up on a farm in Malton where he worked during school holidays, washing out the pig sheds and stacking bales before he headed to Harper Adams University to take a degree in Agricultural Marketing.
He joins the NFU after a varied career across the agriculture sector that has taken him around the country working for a mixture of large and small companies in the arable, horticulture and allied industry sectors.
In his new role at the NFU, Mr Pearson operates out of the membership organisation’s North East headquarters in York. He said: “I am delighted to take up my new role with the NFU in a region as diverse as the North East.
“Farming really is a passion for me and I am looking forward to working with our 6,000 members across Yorkshire, Durham and Northumberland.
“Obviously I come very much from a commercial background, but I hope that will enable me to bring something new to the role, as I find out more about the specific challenges and opportunities facing farmers across the patch.”
He said his initial priorities include the implementation of the latest round of Common Agricultural Policy reform and looking at how the industry can better cope with extreme weather patterns which are increasingly affecting the region.
“However to begin with I will be concentrating on meeting as many members as possible and getting a real feel for their needs, aspirations and views on how the NFU can best support their business development,” he added.
Mr Pearson, 43, lives in Malton, with his wife Polly and his three children, Kate, nine, Annie, seven, and Tom, five.
He replaces predecessor Barney Kay who left the post to join Northern Irish poultry producers Moy Park.