and the Countryside
Yorkshire Rural Support Network
The Yorkshire Rural Support Network is a partnership of Yorkshire statutory and voluntary agencies that together promote and provide sources of help – whether practical, financial, medical or emotional.
With the help of Network members, our aim is to promote the wellbeing of those who live in rural communities.
The Yorkshire Agricultural Society is an active member of the Network alongside organisations such as: Farming Community Network, Royal Agricultural Benevolent Institution, Perennial – the Horticulturalists Charity, Addington Fund, Samaritans, Diocese of Leeds, CLA (Country Land & Business Association), Community First Yorkshire, TFA (Tenant Farmers Association), NFU (National Farmers Union), Farm Safety Foundation and Health & Safety Executive.
Key areas of our work include:
- Farmer Health and Wellbeing – by raising awareness of support for the farming community and holding regular health checks at marts and machinery shows.
- Women in Farming Network – provides networking and support for women in the countryside. Free to join, the Women In Farming Network meets several times a year, has an annual conference in October and keep members connected day to day via a private Facebook community.
- Farming Community Lunches – tackles rural isolation by encouraging the community to come together to share information and socialize.
- Find out how the Network has been supporting the farming community over recent months – click here to read the 2020 Annual Report.
Co-ordinator of the Yorkshire Rural Support Network
Kate Dale grew up on a farm in North Yorkshire and trained in Agricultural and Horticultural Business Studies at Bishop Burton College. She worked as a mobile farm secretary in the Ryedale area for many years before getting married and moving to a tenanted farm in the Vale of York. As her sons grew up and as well as being an active partner in the farming business, she worked full time in the local primary school as a High-Level Teaching Assistant for 12 years before returning to her farming roots working with farming businesses in Ryedale once again.
For the past 10 years, she has worked at the Yorkshire Agricultural Society and with her practical insight into the shifting needs and challenges for our farming families, she has worked with network members – including Farming Help Charities – to offer support. This includes running farmer health checks, business workshops, peer to peer mentoring and helping to address loneliness and isolation.
Chair of the Yorkshire Rural Support Network
Christine Ryder farms with husband Chris as tenants of Scaife Hall Farm in Nidderdale. The couple keep Swaledale and North Country Mule sheep and a herd of 100 pedigree Belted Galloway cattle, supplying quality beef to local restaurants and farm shops.
Alongside this, Christine has run a highly successful award-winning bed and breakfast business. Recently, she switched focus and moved into the self-catering accommodation sector. She is an active member of Farm Stay UK, for whom she has served as National Chairman, and is a longtime Trustee for Farming Help charity, Addington Fund.
She has served as a Harrogate Borough Councillor, including for one year as Deputy Mayor of the Borough. Christine remains an active Parish Councillor and is an elected member of Council for YAS, as well as a member of the Society’s Charitable Activities Committee.