Yorkshire Agricultural Society boss Nigel Pulling to step down after 20 years in charge

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Yorkshire Agricultural Society chief executive Nigel Pulling is to retire after 20 years in charge.

Mr Pulling will retire from his role at the society, which organises the Great Yorkshire Show, in March 2022.

During his tenure, Mr Pulling has overseen a number of successful commercial projects across the Great Yorkshire Showground, including the building of Fodder, the Regional Agricultural Centre (the Society’s HQ) and the multi-million pound rebuild of Hall 1 in the Yorkshire Event Centre.

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In 2017, he was awarded an Award of the Associateship of Royal Agricultural Societies (ARAgS) at the House of Lords for outstanding contribution to agriculture.

Nigel Pulling is to step down.Nigel Pulling is to step down.
Nigel Pulling is to step down.

Mr Pulling joined the Society in 2001 when the Great Yorkshire Show was cancelled due to Foot and Mouth disease. This was the first time GYS had been cancelled other than for the two

World Wars.

He would go on to note the similarities between planning for the Great Yorkshire Show in 2002 against a backdrop of strict bio-security controls and regulations, and planning for this year’s Show under strict Covid regulations.

He said: “We overcame the tough challenges on both occasions to deliver successful Great Yorkshire Shows and I couldn’t have ended my tenure on a better show. We were

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Nigel PullingNigel Pulling
Nigel Pulling

devastated to cancel last year and despite the challenges and restrictions placed on this year’s event, it was an incredible achievement for the team.

"The atmosphere of celebration and enjoyment from both the farming community and visitors was second to none.”

This year, the Show welcomed a number of high-profile guests including HRH The Prince of Wales and HRH The Duchess of Cornwall as well as Secretary of State for Environment, Food

and Rural Affairs George Eustice MP, Robbie Moore MP, Defra Minister Victoria Prentis MP and James Newman, Chair of the Hull and East Yorkshire LEP.

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He added: “It was always my aim to take the Great Yorkshire Show to a national level, to attract Royalty, industry leaders and politicians as well as national publicity to help bang the

drum for the farming industry and I feel we have done and will continue to do just that.”

Mr Pulling said it is now time to step into retirement and to hand over the reins to the next Chief Executive who can take the Society into its next chapter.

“I leave my role on a high, the Great Yorkshire Show is in a strong position ready for next year. Events are returning to the Showground after this difficult 18 months, the charitable

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activities team is stronger than ever before in its support for farming families and promotion of agriculture to the next generation – and I know it will go from strength to strength.”

Rob Copley, Chairman of Trustees said: “Nigel has been a real asset, he is hugely respected in the industry and his leadership has taken the Society up to the next level.

“On behalf of All the Trustee and Council members past and present I want to thank him for all his hard work, determination and expertise.”

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