Great year for young farmers

Swamp football
Swamp football

Machars Young Farmers club had a very busy and successful year in 2013/14 with record attendances at events and great success in competitions.


One of the first events was the D&G Talent Spot at Lochside Theatre in Castle Douglas, where we teamed up with Stranraer and Rhins Young Farmers, making a Wigtownshire entry. We came third on the night with Machars members consisting of Bobby and Katie Landers, Ilise Spice, Eilidh Parker, Caera Morton, Tom Bell, Robert Templeton and Colin Ferguson. Thanks to producer Pamela Muirhead for her help and advice.

With a few sore heads after talent spot, a team consisting of Robert Templeton, Tom Bell, Neil Galloway and Kirsty Wilson headed to Braehead to compete in the national young farmers’ curling competition, coming fourth overall and taking home the trophy for best west area team.


Colin Ferguson, Libby Templeton and Robert Templeton represented the club in Dumfries and Galloway club of the year completion in which they came third.

The club held its new members night in Kirkinner hall where there were 24 members new and old who enjoyed various activities.

For the first time in a few years we held a mock auction at Penkiln farm by kind permission of Ian Evans. About 50 competitors took part with first lady going to Lucy Fisher, first young farmer going to Thomas McKinnel, best valuation going to Adam Simpson, best auction and overall winner going to Jack Vance.


For this year’s country cooks competition we sent Eilidh Parker and Morag McDonald and came a respectable fifth.

D&G rugby sevens took place at Stewartry rugby club and saw Machars take the title. The team consisted of William McCornick, Tyrel Wilson, Graeme McCart, Fraser Morton, Ben Haigh, Jack Ritchie, Robbie McCornick, Jamie Muir, with strong support from their coaches Mark McCornick and Tom Bell.

A very successful day at Ayr Show saw the junior handicrafts team of Fay Wallace, Lucy Fisher, Emily and Rose Nash taking third place junior team, with best overall passport holder going to Lucy Fisher, best overall mascot going to Rose Nash and best overall further article going to Fay Wallace. The senior team consisted of Robyn Wallace, Emily Nash, Katie Vance and Morag MacDonald. Machars also entered a stockjudging team of Tom Bell, Eilidh Parker, Katie Landers with Morag McDonald stockleading who were unfortunately unplaced on the day. Thank you to Elizabeth Wallace for her help coaching our handicrafts teams.

With the rally in our sights we held a few rally practices at High Barness farm by kind permission of the Wilson family. The team consisted of Bobby Landers, Rachel Mills, Michael Brown, Alaister Cannon, Neil Galloway, Kirsty Wilson, Willa Wilson, Robert Templeton and Sam McTier.


Next stop was the Royal Highland Show where our junior handicrafts team was out in force. They were placed a respectable fourth against some stiff competition. Again a big thank you goes to Elizabeth Wallace for all her help. A few Machars members made up the Dumfries and Galloway stockmanship team which were: Bobby and Katie Landers, Robert Templeton, John Howatson and Eilidh Parker. Thank you to all the farms which held stockmanship practices for us and to Mathew Service and Wallace Parker for coaching. At the prize-giving Machars Young Farmers won the title of the best recruited club in Scotland, which is a great achievement considering we are such a small club.

Dumfries and Galloway Olympics was next on the agenda at Castle Douglas High School. Unfortunately, only half the sports were played for due to poor weather conditions and we were unplaced on the day. The team consisted of Tom Bell, Caera Morton, Fraser Morton, Robert Templeton, Rachel Mills, Bobby Landers, Katie Landers, Alaister Burse, Neil Galloway and Dek McKnight.


A sports night was held at Port William astroturf for a few games of rounders and dodge ball, a great night was had by all.

For the first time we held a swamp football competition by kind permission of the Morton family. Five teams took part with a large crowd spectating, It was a close competition leading to a joint first place which was team “Libby” and team “Fitsy”, second place was team “Dean” and joint third place was team “Simon” and team “Duffy”.

We held our annual dairy stockjudging at Barledziew farm, Sorbie. Thank you to the Vance family for a tremendous show of cattle and all their hard work in making the event such a success with it being the biggest turnout we have had at a dairy stockjudging for many years. Also thank you to the sponsors who provided refreshments and some great prizes and, last but not least, Murray McIlraith for judging. The prize-winners were: joint overall winners Andrew Hannah and Lynn Wilson, Lynn also won first lady, second overall Emily Nash, first junior Emma Robinson, first old farmer Alan Cambell, and Gemma McCornick won novelty class.


A tremendous day was had at a sunny Wigtown Show with the young farmers’ tent getting many visitors. Unfortunately, our dunk tank worked for only five minutes but it was all we needed to see our chairman get dunked! We held our annual stockjudging with Rebecca MacTaggart winning overall. Guess the weight of the lamb was won by Roy McKinnel and Lesley Murray. The show dance was well attended with over 300 people.

Dumfries Show proved successful with the Machars young farmers’ notice board taking first place.


Our annual beef stockjudging was held at Castlewigg farm, Whithorn by kind permission of the Gwynne family. Although it was a wet night 130 people took part. Thank you to the Gwynne family for a great show of Simmetal cattle. Also our sponsors for the evening and Brian Allan for judging. The results were as follows: first overall Ian Stewart, first lady Rosanne Galloway, first young farmer Adam Sharpe and first junior Jill McCaig.

The last of this year’s stockjudgings was our sheep which was held at High Ersock farm by kind permission of the Murray family. A great night was had by all with 73 participants judging a variety of breeds. Tremendous classes of sheep were put on show with Alaister McMillan taking top honours winning overall and first junior; first lady went to Genievieve Vance and guess the weight of the tup went to Sam McTier. Thanks to Colin Craig for judging and sponsors for providing refreshments.


Dumfries and Galloway sheep dressing competition. Two Machars teams consisting of Robert Templeton and Simon McCornick taking fourth place and the junior team of Katie Landers and William McMillan taking second prize.

The Root Show held in Kirkinner hall was great to see the resurrection of it after many years and hopefully it will be carried on. Special thanks to Libby Templeton, root shoe secretary, for all her hard work.

Dumfries and Galloway Agri Skills competition was held at Grennan Farm, Sorbie. We were represented by Alastair Cannon, Thomas McKinnel and William Mcmillan, and they came a respectable second overall.

We held a clay pigeon shoot afternoon at Glenluce Gun Room, which was a great success with 17 participants. Adam Hunter first, Stewart Fisimmons was second and Tom Bell third.

Dumfries and Galloway quiz. A team consisting off Seona McKie, Katie Landers, Robert Templeton and Bobby Landers came a respectable second which saw them through to west area where they came third. That same night Libby Templeton went to win D&G member of the year and represented the district at national level.

Curling was next on the agenda where we had two teams competing. The team of Rachel Mills, Colin Ferguson, Lynn Wilson and Bobby Landers came second and go through to compete in the national finals in March.


Dumfries and Galloway Speechmaking competition. Machars Seniors A: Colin Ferguson, Bobby Landers and Katie Landers were placed second and also won best chairman out with the winning team, best vote of thanks out with the winning team and best speaker out with the winning team. They then went on to compete at west area finals. Machars Seniors B: John Howatson, Libby Templeton and Robert Templeton came third.

Dumfries and Galloway Junior Speechmaking completion. Machars A: Holly Sproat, Katie Marr and Gigha Johnstone came second and then went on to compete at west area and came fourth. Machars B: Alistair Burse, Mhari Fisher and Molly Millar Smith.


Dumfries and Galloway Bowling competition. The team of Bobby Landers, Alistair Cannon, Alan Oxley, Katie Landers and Robert Templeton came second and go through to the national finals.

We held our farm walk at the brand new pig unit at Airlour Farm by kind permission of the Christie family. A great night was had by all with over 50 people in attendance.

Christmas eve saw us join up with the Whauphill Community Group to hold the annual quiz in the Whaup pub. This year we donated a sum of £150 to the Whauphill Community Group to help with running costs of the hall. We held our winter ball in the Monreith Arms, Port William, where we had about 150 in attendance. We raised over £750.


A sports night was held in the Merrick Leisure Centre where around 30 members attended, mostly younger ones which was great to see.

Machars Young Farmers go-karting at Emotion saw 21 people took part. The results were: 1. Jack Ritchie, 2. Jack Vance and 3. Neil Galloway.


Busy month as always with lots of practices for the Wigtownshire concert. We had four members taking part: Tom Bell, Bobby Landers, Katie Landers and Simon McCornick. It was decided that the show would run for two nights, the first in Lochans hall and the second at Kirkinner, where a dance was held. Both showings had about 100 spectators and the dance in Kirkinner was deemed a great success.

Dunfermline Weekend: 16 of us headed up to take part in the national finals. Machars were taking part in three competitions: dodgeball, where we were beaten semi-finalists, 10-pin bowling, and Libby Templeton represented us in the member of the year final although unplaced was a great achievement for her and for the club.

A dinner dance was held in Wigtown County Buildings where an entertaining night was had. Our guest speakers on the night were John Kay, who was a pat chairman, and he told amusing stories of his time in the club; and Gregor Christie, who entertained with great gusto and reddened a few faces in the process.

Trophies were awarded as follows – SAI Cup, Colin Ferguson; Cannon Rosebowl, Katie Landers; Craiglemine Cup, Katie Landers; Under 18 stockjudging shield, Fay Wallace; Evans Cup, Lynn Wilson; Club Salver, Lynn Wilson; Michael Dunlop Quaich, Kirsty Wilson and Willa Wilson. Wigtownshire trophies presented as follows – M C Dunlop Junior speechmaking trophy, Holly Sproat, Katie Marr and Gigha Johnstone; SAI senior speechmaking, Colin Ferguson, Bobby Landers and Katie Landers.

The Agm was carried out the day after the dinner dance where a smooth crossover from old committee to new was had. Robert Templeton has taken over as chairman from Tom Bell. Thanks to Tom and his committee for ensuring 2013/14 was a great success and best wishes to Robert and his new committee for 2014/15, the club’s 70th year.