It was reported in this week in 1978 that the top club in the Morton Early Riser Efficiency competition which was organised by the Co Antrim YFCU committee was Randalstown YFC, who had been the runners-up in the competition in 1977.
The results were announced at the final assessment night in Ballymena and Mr Jim Gillan (Moycraig), the new county chairman welcomed the large turnout of club representatives, also Major R B Morton, director of Robert Morton and Co Ltd, Ballymena, the sponsors, Messrs John Gordon from the Department of Agriculture Farm Safety Division, and William R Martin, Greyabbey, a former president of the YFCU.
The Randalstown club had a tally of 278.50 points while Moycraig YFC from North Antrim came close with 274.76 points. Straid YFC, the winners in 1977, were in third place with 255.9 points, and Gleno Valley YFC came fourth with 244.35 points.
Also placed were Lylehill YFC, 238.32 points in fifth place; 6th, Kilraughts YFC, 236.99; 7th, Kells and Connor YFC, 225.64; 8th, Greenmount, 217.08.
The trophies for the best club secretary and best club leader competition were also handed over and these went to Joy Mawhinney from Rathmore YFC and Rosemary McKeeman from Moycraig YFC, respectively.
It was Joy Mawhinney’s second successive year to take the title.
The sponsors for the competition were the Co Antrim Committee of the Ulster Farmers’ Union.
The assessors in the early rounds were Miss Maura Graham of Kells and Connor YFC, Messrs Allan Hoy (Holestone YFC), James Morrison (Moycraig YFC), Samuel Tweed (Kilraughts YFC), William Lindsay (Ballycraigy YFC), Tom Stirling (Holestone YFC), James Walker (Randalstown YFC) and John Clarke (Ahoghill YFC).
Major Morton, who distributed the trophies and awards, congratulated the winners, and said that the high standard achieved showed that officials and members of the clubs had obviously worked hard during the year.
In the competition for the top treasurer, organised by the Central Executive Office, the two Co Antrim officials selected by Mr John T Gilmour (Coleraine), and another former YFCU president, were Gordon Dunlop of Ballycraigy YFC and Steven Weatherup of Gleno Valley YFC. They went through to the Ulster finals to be held later that year.
After the presentations, discussion groups were formed, the topics being on the structure of the competition.
Group leaders were Trevor Agnew of Straid YFC, James Thompson of Randalstown YFC, Gordon Dunlop of Ballycraigy YFC and Desmond Fulton of Finvoy YFC.