Introducing new YAS president – Martin Cockerill

The Yorkshire Agricultural Society is proud to present its new President – Martin Cockerill.

Martin picks up the reins from Simon Theakston, while Geoff Brown MBE has succeeded Martin as the new President Elect.

At the end of the Great Yorkshire Show this July, a ceremonial handover saw Simon (pictured below, left) officially hand over the title to Martin (pictured below, right), capping a brilliant four days celebrating farming, food and the countryside with 140,000 visitors.

On taking up the presidential role, Martin said:

During my year as President Elect I have tried to get involved in the Society as much as I could, and I’ve been a member for decades, but I wasn’t aware of quite the depth of work that the Society does and it’s been good to get better knowledge of that.

Being the president is a just a great honour and privilege and I hope I can contribute in any way I can to the continued success of the Society.

Martin’s distinguished career has been dedicated to the potato industry, having joined RS Cockerill York Ltd with his father who established the family business in the 1930s.

Their main activity was trading potatoes and farming began with a tenancy near Stamford Bridge in 1946.

In recent decades, Cockerill have concentrated on potato marketing and packing for retailers, while increasing the volume of potatoes for processing into crisps.

They now farm around 500ha, grow a further 200ha of potatoes on rented land and Martin’s wife runs a suckler herd of Dexter cattle, supplying grass fed beef to London restaurants.

Following his retirement as Managing Director in 2019, Martin lives on a small grassland farm on the edge of the North York Moors near Scarborough.

A Rotarian for many years, Martin is also involved with the Samaritans charity.

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