Derek Biss is a dairy farmer’s son from Castle Cary in Somerset, who trained at the Royal Agricultural College in Cirencester and was articled at RB Taylor & Son in Yeovil in 1978. Derek became an equity partner in 1986 at the age of 27. He joined WRJ Greenslade & Co in 1983 from Berry Bros in Northampton. He heads up the farm sales department as a specialist live and deadstock auctioneer and spends up to 2 days a week at the market. Derek is actively involved in carrying out TB valuations in Wales and in his spare time he manages his livestock farm in the Vale of Taunton. We talk to him about his life, his love of Somerset and his plans during the festive season.
What is your perfect day out in Somerset?
Attending one of the many Agricultural summer shows, where often GTH have a stand and I can chat to clients old and new over a cream tea and a sausage roll.
How would you describe people from Somerset?
Hardworking, honest, friendly sorts.
What is your strongest memory growing up in Somerset?
At the crack of dawn, hunting my father cow’s up the lane at the age of 7 whilst listening to Tony Blackburn on my radio.
What is your proudest achievement?
Becoming the youngest GTH partner at the tender age of 27, a partnership record.
What advice would you give to your younger self?
Don’t burn bridges, you never know when you will need to cross them again. Metaphorically speaking of course.
What is the best thing about living in Somerset?
The fresh air and the open countryside. I’m certainly not a city dweller. I’m like a fish out of water when not surrounded by green fields and livestock, preferably cows.
How are you preparing for Christmas?
I’m not, I leave festive preparation to my wife.
What is the worst gift that you’ve ever received?
A last year’s Secret Santa present from my office. That’s all I am prepared to say.
What is your favourite part of the festive season?
Eating a large Christmas turkey dinner, with all the trimmings.
Do you have any personal Christmas traditions?
A mini-Christmas on Christmas Eve with my wife, my elderly parents and my children.