THE first female show director has been appointed to lead Great Yorkshire Show (GYS)

Dairy farmer Rachel Coates will make history as the first woman to take over the role of Show Director.

Rachel, from Shipley, West Yorkshire, will take over from Charles Mills who has been Show Director since 2016. The handover will take place immediately after this year’s Show from Tuesday, July, 9 to Friday, July, 12 – which will be the 165th Great Yorkshire Show.

Rachel said: “I am honoured to be taking over the reins as Show Director from Charles who’s done an amazing job over the last eight years. I have been coming to the Show since I was 18 which is when I got the bug for it. My aim will be to promote the Show to the younger generations so that it continues to flourish and grow.”

Charles Mills said: “I can’t think of a better candidate to hand over the reins to and I know Rachel will take the show from strength to strength.”

Rachel is a member of the Yorkshire Agricultural Society Council and farms a mixture of tenanted and owned land on the edge of Baildon Moor and the urban fringe.

She has been part of the GYS cattle committee for a number of years and Rachel’s family have shown dairy cattle at The Great Yorkshire Show for around 15 years, winning Holstein Champion for two years running in 2023 and 2022.

Rachel has worked in advertising, retail, education, and agriculture, and is currently a director of a Community Interest Company which runs her local farmer’s market.

Passionate about British food, Rachel is also a member of the Yorkshire Agricultural Society’s Women In Farming Network and enjoys volunteering at the Society’s Countryside Days for schoolchildren at the Great Yorkshire Showground.

Allister Nixon, CEO of Yorkshire Agricultural Society said: “I am absolutely delighted that following a rigorous interview and selection process Rachel has been appointed to the role of Show Director. We wish her every success with her role and look forward to working with her to deliver future Great Yorkshire Shows.”

The Great Yorkshire Show is England’s premier agricultural event, organised by the Yorkshire Agricultural Society (YAS), a registered charity supporting rural Yorkshire.

YAS supports and promotes the farming industry through health care, business, education and scientific research.