Great Yorkshire Show

First female show director for Great Yorkshire Show

Dairy farmer Rachel Coates will make history as the first female to take over the role of show director of the Great Yorkshire Show.

Coates, 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 (July 9 – 12) – which will be the 165th Great Yorkshire Show.

Coates 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.”

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.”

Coates 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 several years and her 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.

Coates 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, Coates 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.”