Yorkshire Food Farming & Rural Network

In 2012 Defra ministers invited Rural and Farming Networks to be established as the hotline into Defra. The Yorkshire Food Farming and Rural Network (YFFRN) is one of 14 such networks across England and is based at the Yorkshire Agricultural Society at Harrogate. YFFRN champions the needs of farming, agri-food, rural businesses, and rural communities enabling them to become more resilient, competitive, and sustainable.

The YFFRN enables connectivity across the food, farming and rural sectors and is a vehicle to share important information to regional stakeholders. It is an important network to bring members together and build relationships which can collectively champion and influence at a local, regional, and national level.

Please read the article below for more details.

The goal of the YFFRN is to enable farming, rural businesses and rural communities to become more sustainable, economically, environmentally and socially.

The objective of the network is:

  • To provide a connected and collective regional voice of local farming and rural stakeholders
  • To create a two-way channel of communication, into and from rural stakeholders and delivery organisations
  • To provide a key source of advice on issues, concerns and good practice to Defra, the Yorkshire Local Enterprise Partnerships, Local Authorities, and others as necessary
  • To champion farming and rural issues and promote opportunities which may develop solutions to problems
  • To influence the local and national agenda in respect of farming and rural issues affecting Yorkshire
  • To provide relevant evidence and intelligence to empower the Chair to have effective one-to-one dialogue with the Defra minister and other ministers as appropriate.

We will achieve our objectives through:

  • Effective communications
  • Industry intelligence
  • Networking
  • Championing/Influencing

In support of:

  • Farming, Agri-Food businesses, and supply chains
  • Rural businesses and SMEs
  • Rural Communities
  • Environmental bodies
  • National, Regional and Local Government

Focus areas for 2021-2025 include:

Devolution & levelling up / Environment / Agricultural transition / Business support / Skills and career opportunities

The Yorkshire Food, Farming and Rural Support Network was successful in its bid to join the new national Network.

The Chair, an honours graduate in Botany, Madge began her career as a hybrid wheat breeder for Nickersons in Lincolnshire before she and her husband moved to his family farm in New Zealand. There she helped manage the mixed arable and livestock farm looking after 2,000+ breeding Romney sheep and mohair goats whilst developing various export initiatives, including evening primrose, grass seed and out of season plant multiplications for UK breeding firms.

On their return to the UK, Madge worked firstly for the Agricultural Training Board in Yorkshire and then Lantra. For the last two decades her national role has included working at senior levels with government, regional development agencies, trade, education and professional organisations, charities, as well as with employers in the agriculture and horticulture sectors.

Chair:  Madge Moore
Email: Mooremargery@gmail.com
Mob:  07951 153 238


In collaboration with Grow Yorkshire, our newsletter is very much a ‘two-way’ channel of communication. It aims to bring together rural based Yorkshire intermediaries, in sharing the good work that the region’s thriving food, farming and rural stakeholders deliver and champion, as well as raising challenges on a regional and national level for our rural and farming business. Please sign up below for updates:

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Commission  Yorkshire Farming, National Agri Food Campus, Sand Hutton, York, North Yorkshire

The Network is hosted by the Yorkshire Agricultural Society and the Project Manager is Holly Jones – Tel: 01423 546251 or yffrn@yas.co.uk.

The Executive Committee is made up of the following:

Ben Barnett Yorkshire Agricultural Society
Adam Bedford National Farmers Union
Dr Graham Bottley Farmer
Mark Blakeston Grow Yorkshire / York & North Yorkshire Local Enterprise Partnership
Jane Colthup Community First Yorkshire
Graham Coultish East Peak Innovation Partnership, Sheffield Rural Board
Ian Cox Innovate UK
Kate Dale Yorkshire Rural Support Network
Lucinda Douglas Country Land and Business Association
Carolyn Frank Federation of Small Businesses
Janet Thornton Community First Yorkshire and ACRE
Richard Morley Farmer
Allister Nixon Yorkshire Agricultural Society
Helen Wright East Riding of Yorkshire Council and East Riding Partnership

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