One of the leading pioneers of the modern-day turkey industry, Raymond Twiddle, has died aged 87, following a three year battle with Leukaemia.
Mr Twiddle founded Twydale Turkeys in 1956, building it up over the years into a hugely successful business, supplying the major retailers with 10 million birds each year.
Mr Twiddle played a major role in the turkey industry as the British Turkey Federation Chairman for 17 years
He also had a leading role within the poultry industry in both the UK and Europe and was honoured with an OBE in 1996 in recognition of his service.
With his wife Enid, he farmed at the Knapton Hall Estate, North Yorkshire, establishing renowned flocks of pedigree Suffolk and Texel sheep. He was well known on the show circuit as a competitor and a sheep judge.
Mr Twiddle worked with the Yorkshire Agricultural Society as a council member and trustee.
His colleagues said his ‘razor-sharp mind, steely determination and passion for both business and people’ meant the income from the facilities at the Great Yorkshire Showground grew from £40,000 to £6 million during his tenure.
In 2009 he was the second winner of the Royal Agricultural Benevolent Institute and Yorkshire Agricultural Society Life-Time Achievement Award, in recognition for his outstanding achievements in agriculture.
He is survived by Enid, his wife of 58 years, his children David and Elizabeth and his five grandchildren.