Ripon’s tractor boss celebrates 60 years in agriculture


Nov 22, 2021
Geoff Brown on his tractor in the 1960s (left) and today.

Ripon Farm Services managing director Geoff Brown has seen huge changes in farming machinery over the past 60 years.

Mr Brown began his career in 1961, back when tractors still ran on petrol and were not even four-wheeled drive.

This year the company showed the world’s largest combine harvester at the Great Yorkshire Show.

Mr Brown started as a 16-year-old apprentice at car and agricultural machinery dealers Glovers of Ripon.

He worked for the Appleyard Group as its John Deere demonstrator before forming Ripon Farm Services in 1982 alongside local businessmen Maurice Hymas and Bill Houseman.

World’s largest combine harvester at this year’s GYS.

The company has grown to become one of the biggest in Ripon, employing 260 employees people and having a turnover of over £100m.

It is now the UK’s largest John Deere dealership with 11 depots and groundscare machinery departments.

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Mr Brown said:

“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 an unwavering commitment to the very 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, which I founded with friends and fellow businessmen in 1982. I’ve watched the company grow from a small concern to one of the biggest employers in the Ripon area, with some 260 staff and a turnover of more than £100m.

“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.”

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