Success for young farmers

More than 250 members of the Scottish Association of Young Farmer Clubs (SAYFC) headed to Orkney last weekend for a competition designed to showcase talent and nurture potential in Scotland’s youth.

With four competitions taking place including carpet bowls, senior speechmaking and quiz national finals, members from 10 clubs honed their skills in the hope of bringing home a trophy for their club.

And there were notable successes for Galloway young farmers.

Stewartry’s Michael Yates won the title of “Best panel member”, while the Stewartry YFC team of which he was a part were runners-up in the senior speechmaking. And Leona Wllace from Machars YFC was jointly voted best chair.

It was the Crossroads club in Ayrshire that, for the second year running, took the top prize with with Andrew Ireland winning the coveted SAYFC Member of the Year and the club securing first in the senior speechmaking competition. The weekend wins build on the Crossroads club’s recent success in the West Region Drama Club when it was awarded first prize.

Commenting on the Crossroads success, chairman John Howie said: “We are fortunate to have a very committed local club with more than 80 members who are keen to build the successes of past members. Our club motto is ‘Never say I cannot, always say I’ll try’ and it is its ‘can do’ attitude which has spurred on the team leading to such success.”

As SAYFC celebrates its 75th anniversary this year, SAYFC chief executive Penny Mountgomerie said: “With its roots in agriculture, SAYFC has evolved to include all young people living in the countryside and this weekend’s activities demonstrated our success in attracting young people from all walks of life.

“While the focus on the weekend was to reward excellence and commitment, the importance of social interaction was also evident with members of all clubs building connections with young people from all over Scotland. The benefits of meeting like-minded individuals keen to make a difference cannot be underestimated.”

Competition results were as follows.

Carpet bowls: 1. East Mainland YFC, 2. Mauchline YFC, 3. Angus Tayside B.

Quiz: 1. Bankfoot – David Barclay, Ewan Penny and Andrew Orr, 2. Carluke, 3. Inverross.

Member of the year: 1. Crossroads YFC – Andrew Ireland, 2. Bankfoot JAC – Finlay McFarlane, 3. SSS YFC – Suzie Dunn.

Senior speechmaking: 1. Crossroads YFC – Robert Campbell, Robert Ramsay, Robert Dykes and John Howie, 2. Stewartry YFC – Jayne Porteous, Michael Yates, Jennifer Armstrong and Ian Austin, 3. Kilmaurs YFC – Heather Shanks, Laura McMurdo, Vicky Scott and Isla Erskine.

Best panel member – Michael Yates, Stewartry YFC.

Best chair – Heather Shanks, Kilmaurs YFC, and Leona Wallace, Machars YFC.

For further information on how to join SAYFC contact 0131 3332445.