Geoff Brown, a highly-respected figure in Yorkshire's farming sector and as managing director of Ripon Farm Services, has been made an MBE for services to the rural economy.

He co-founded Ripon Farm services 41 years ago along with Morris Hymas and William Houseman, and has seen the company go from strength to strength since then.

He said: “I feel very honoured to be accepting an MBE in the King’s first birthday honours list.

“The MBE is in recognition of a lifetime of service to the rural economy, thanks to all who have played a part. Never did I think I would be accepting an MBE. I am incredibly delighted and humbled.”

Richard Simpson, commercial director of Ripon Farm Services, added: “We are all hugely proud of Geoff. He is the beating heart of our company and this is an honour which is richly deserved.”

Geoff Brown of Ripon Farm Services with the then Prince Charles at the Great Yorkshire Show

Geoff Brown of Ripon Farm Services with the then Prince Charles at the Great Yorkshire Show

It was in 1961 that 16 year old Geoff Brown started his first job as an apprentice with car and agricultural dealer Glovers of Ripon.

Looking back on his 62 years in the farm machinery industry, Geoff reflected: “I’ve seen many changes, both in the world in general and in farming in particular, but the values that I’ve followed throughout my career – hard work and commitment to the best customer service – have remained the same. Many of our customers are also long-standing friends.”

“I’ve taken great pride in the success of Ripon Farm Services, I’ve watched the company grow from a small concern to one of the biggest employers in the Ripon area, with over 300 staff and annual revenues in excess of £160m.

“This gives me tremendous pleasure, but I would stress that the success of Ripon Farm Services is down to the loyal and committed staff we have employed over the years. They have been the bedrock of this company and their dedication and expertise is second to none.”

In 2019, at the Great Yorkshire Show, Geoff was presented with a Royal Agricultural Benevolent Institution (RABI) award for outstanding contribution to agriculture. As well as several other awards throughout the years.

Deputy Prime Minister Rt Hon. Oliver Dowden MP said: “This year’s honours list is a testament to ordinary people who have demonstrated extraordinary community spirit and I pay tribute to all those who have been recognised.”