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 Sebastian 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.
Mike joined E. Reed & Son in 1976 as an arable operator and has worked his way up through the business to his current role of Arable Manager. 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. Mike works closely with Joe on the medium/long term planning of the business.
Sebastian joined the business in 2018, having worked for global genetics company PIC for the previous 2 years as Technical Service Manager for the UK, Ireland and South Africa. Sebastian has a veterinary degree from the University of Buenos Airies and an MSc in Animal Breeding & Statistical Genetics from Michigan State University. He takes production management responsibilities 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.
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.
Sue joined in business in 1996, having already worked in the accounts department of Dewhirst Group clothing in Driffield. Sue’s key role is the recording and management of the Yorkwold financial accounts, enabling up to date information is available for 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.
Pagan joined the office team in 2016 as admin assistant, having spent the previous 18 months working “on farm” within Nafferton Wold Farms’ egg production business. Before that Pagan completed a BSc in Animal Behaviour and Training at Bishop Burton College. Her varied role includes “front of house”, secretarial work and various data entry and analysis tasks. Pagan is currently away from the business on maternity leave.
Pippa joined the business in 2019, having completed her Level 3 Extended Diploma in Agriculture at Bishop Burton College, to take on the role vacated by Pagan’s leave of absence, and as such carries out all of Pagan’s tasks above. Pippa’s role is a permanent one required by the expanding group operations.