Mitchells Auction Company in Cockermouth has welcomed Bootle farmer Rachael Millard to its board of directors. 

Making her the first female non-executive director in the firm’s 150 year history.  

As well as increasing gender diversity on the board, her appointment also brings a more youthful perspective and strengthens Mitchells’ connection with the wider south west of the county.

Mitchells Chairman Ian Powley, said: “We have listened to our shareholders who told us they would like any new director appointed to the board to be a farmer, female and from ‘down west’.  I believe Rachael ticks all these boxes and more and we are very much looking forward to working with her.”

Rachael was “delighted and honoured” to be asked to join the board and feels the role played by livestock auctions has never been more important, given the current climate of uncertainty for farmers with the rising cost of feed, fuel and fertilisers.

“We need to be able to sell reliably through the auction to maintain the value of our stock. Livestock auctions put a floor in the market and give farmers a true and realistic price for their livestock.”

She also brings over 30 years’ experience as a committee member of Millom and Broughton Agricultural Show where she was appointed Sheep Secretary six years ago and is renowned for her keen eye when judging stock.

Earlier in her career she worked for the Furness and South Cumberland Supply Association, a farmers’ co-op, where she developed a strong network of contacts with local farmers.  

Rachael is now looking forward to her new role on Mitchells’ board and providing an ear to the ground amongst the wider farming community in the south west of the county. She said: “I want to be approachable and be there in person on sale days listening to what our customers are saying and feeding that back to the board so we can keep up the good work that Mitchells is already doing.”