It is acknowledged at the Dewhirst Farming Group that our people are our greatest asset and attracting and retaining quality people is essential for the success of our business. Within the current team we have a very high staff retention rate.
We have over 70 of our people working across our farms (as well as over 20 on 3rd party contract pig finishing units) and 12 working from our head office at Driffield. Meet some of our team below:
Joe joined in the business in 2001, having gained an Honours Degree in Agriculture with Farm Business Management at Newcastle University. Having spent much of his career to date focused on Yorkwold and pig production his responsibilities are now spread across all of the farming businesses within the Dewhirst Farming Group. As such he works closely with each of Rick, Robert and Mike to ensure each business is performing to its optimum.
Robert joined Yorkwold in 2001 as Production Director Designate, having managed a multi-site pig farming business in Shropshire. He has since risen to his role as Managing Director. Robert has overall responsibility for the running of the pig business, working closely with Joe on business development and with Phil and Rich on production. He is also a board member of AHDB Pork and a Director of Thames Valley Cambac, the leading UK pig marketing business.
Rick joined the business in 2007, having gained an Honours Degree in Agriculture with Farm Business Management at Newcastle University and a MBA at Cirencester College. His Managing Director’s role is split between the egg laying operations of Nafferton Wold Farms and the anaerobic digestion enterprise of Burton Agnes Renewables, working closely with Joe on the business management of the enterprises and with the heads of department on the day to day management.
Graham joined E. Reed & Son in 2019 following the retirement of long standing Arable Manager Mike Tuplin. Graham is originally from the Highlands of Scotland and completed his studying at Aberdeen University where he gained a Higher National Diploma in Agriculture, a Bachelor of Technology in Agricultural Business Management and a Post Graduate Diploma in Farm Business Organisational Management. He has day to day responsibility for the management of the arable business, working with a team of 3 to manage production on 2,000 acres of arable land. Graham works closely with Joe on the medium/long term planning of the business.
Richard Riley joined Yorkwold as Production Director Designate in October 2020, before being appointed Production Director in February 2022.
Rich joins us from Cranswick Plc, where he held the position of Agriculture Manager, managing their supply chain for major retailers.
Rich’s role will be focused on assisting the current production team to ensure the business achieves its goals in productive performance.
Phil joined Yorkwold as a stockman at Cowden Magna Farm in 1991, and soon became assistant manager. He has since managed 2 other Yorkwold pig units before taking on his current role of Production Manager. He is responsible for half of Yorkwold’s portfolio of pig units, working closely with Robert on their direction and also with each unit’s site manager to ensure optimum performance.
Tom joined the business in 2018 from local accountancy and business advisory firm Smailes Goldie Group. Tom grew up on a family farm close to Driffield and then joined SGG in Hull straight from school, gaining his ACCA accountancy qualificationin 2016. He has a key role in overseeing the financial management and planning of all of the businesses in the group.
Janet joined the business in 1986 as secretary to Jim Dewhirst and soon gained a key understanding of the business ethos and direction. As the business grew Janet took on more of a managerial role as new members were added to the office team. As such Janet now manages the administrative team in the office. She has a vast knowledge of all of the key office processes that ensure a smooth running business.
Nicola joined the Yorkwold office team in 1991 as PA to Kevin Walker, who was Managing Director of Yorkwold at the time. Prior to that Nicola had spent time working on various pig units, giving her a sound grounding on the principals of pig production. She now has a vital role in the logistical management of pig unit feed, sundries and internal/external pig sales. Nicola works closely with all of the pig unit personnel to ensure that all of their requirements are met.
Nic joined the business in January 2022, following the retirement of Sue Peck after 25 years’ service. Nic has an Honours Degree in English Literature and Language, but has spent the whole of her career working with numbers, holding several book keeping and accounts based roles in the Driffield area. Nic is now responsible primarily for the Yorkwold financial accounts, enabling up to date information is available for key decisions by the senior management team.
Matt joined the business in 2008, primarily to take on the management of the E. Reed & Son accounts. Matt has since proven his ability to take on multi-disciplined tasks across the group and as such has an extremely varied role. His primary role though remains the recording and management of the non-pig financial accounts, ensuring up to date information is available for the senior management team. However, Matt is also involved in data entry, analysis and presentation of various complex production figures across the group.
Debbie joined the business in 1999 and has primary responsibility for the Agrosoft pig recording system, ensuring vast amounts of data is added onto the system weekly and that management reports are produced for the production team and the unit managers. This important role is extremely time sensitive, allowing the production team to make timely fact based decisions across the business.
Milly joined the business in 2021, immediately following the completion of her Level 3 Diploma in Business at Bishop Burton College in which she achieved a superb Triple Distinction*. Milly comes from a farming background and is an active Young Farmer. Her role covers administrative tasks across the group, including accounts, production and HR.