Ripon Farm Services (RFS) has announced the appointment of Richard Simpson as its new CEO with Geoff Brown MBE becoming Chairman.

Three years ago, RFS made the decision to strengthen the Board to ensure it had a structure in place to manage the future growth and succession of the company with the appointment of Richard Simpson as Commercial Director.

Richard comes from a farming background and has extensive experience in transforming companies large and small and he brings a wealth of knowledge and a fresh perspective to Ripon Farm Services. In his new role as CEO Richard will have full responsibility for the strategic development of RFS and the day-to-day running of the business.

Geoff will continue to be ever-present in the company and advise on strategic direction to ensure the seamless transfer of knowledge and expertise. He will also be able to dedicate more time and energy to his upcoming charitable endeavours in his role as President of the Yorkshire Agricultural Society while, at the same time, ensuring a smooth leadership transition within the company.

Geoff said: “I would like to extend my heartfelt thanks to all employees, customers and the folks at John Deere who have been instrumental in our journey over the past 40 years. The unwavering commitment, hard work, and passion have been invaluable in shaping the company into what it is today. That said we must keep moving forwards. There is a lot to do, and we must continue to improve, embrace innovation, and always strive to surpass customer expectations.”

Geoff added: “I am thrilled to be able to have Richard at the helm. He has been instrumental in driving the changes we needed to make in the last three years, and I look forward to him leading the company through the required changes towards even greater achievements. Richard has a proven track record of driving growth, fostering innovation and nurturing talent.”

“This is a very positive step forward for the company and we wish Richard all the best in his new role. I am confident that the new leadership will put us on course to ensure that the next 40 years is as successful as the previous 40.”

Richard said: “This is an incredible honour and one which I am terrified about to be honest. Ripon Farm Services is a truly great business and following Geoff to lead the company is the most challenging thing I have ever done. What an incredible legacy he has built. We must all work together to ensure that the values on which the company is built are preserved and enhanced in the years to come.”

Joedy Ibbotson, Division Business Manager, John Deere UK added: “Everyone at John Deere would like to sincerely thank Geoff for his continued and unwavering loyalty to the John Deere brand and all that he has achieved through his leadership of Ripon Farm Services. Under his leadership the business has grown to become one of the largest and leading John Deere dealers in the UK. Geoff should be immensely proud of what he has built, for over 40 years his unrelenting commitment to serving farming and rural communities has been foundational to Ripon Farm Services success.”

“All of us at John Deere are incredibly grateful for all that Geoff has done to support and grow the John Deere brand. We look forward to continuing our long-standing partnership with Ripon Farm Services, as Geoff transitions into his new role and Richard takes over as CEO.”

Established in 1982, and employing over 300 people, Ripon Farm Services is one of the largest John Deere dealers in the UK. Covering 14 sites across Yorkshire, Teesside, Lincolnshire and Nottinghamshire, Ripon Farm Services is responsible for the sale and aftersales support of agricultural machinery, ground care equipment and professional turf equipment by John Deere and other major manufacturers.