The Scottish Association of Young Farmers’ Clubs (SAYFC) have recorded another successful year at the Royal Highland Show with an increase in participation in their arts and crafts competitions, the launch of their new agricultural training programme ‘Cultivating Futures’, further support for their own alumni, their own show photo booth and additional partnerships during the show.
The long-weekend started with the association own reception where National Chairman Stuart Jamieson announced Bower YFC as the 2016 Club of the Year, one of the highest accolades you can win within SAYFC.
Mrs Margaret Wright was awarded the Ritchie Trophy which recognises an individual who has made a significant contribution to the Young Farmers’.
Stuart commented: “A member of Machars YFC she quickly rose through the ranks to be elected Ladies Chairman of the then South West Area. After completing her time as a member she has remained involved with the association sitting on various committees and trusts that work behind the scenes to ensure the association continues to thrive for the benefit of rural youth.”
Stuart went on to highlight SAYFC’s Are Ewe Okay campaign which was launched in May to raise awareness of mental health.
He said: “What we are trying to do is to bring to the attention of rural youth, the triggers and causes of poor mental health and the symptoms a sufferer may exhibit. Delivered regularly over social media, we are also sharing the stories of several very courageous SAYFC members, who have battled with mental illness and have volunteered to divulge their experiences with our members.
“What we are trying to do is to bring to the attention of rural youth, the triggers and causes of poor mental health and the symptoms a sufferer may exhibit.”Stuart Jamieson, SAYFC, National Chairman
“We hope to reach as many people as possible to really get as big an impact as we can. Since launching just six weeks ago, our social media posts have reached almost 50’000 people, and offline the campaign has featured in over 30 publications with a combined readership in excess of 700’000. We will continue to build on this but what a phenomenal start.”
During the weekend, President Elspeth Dale announced membership for the associations alumni “Friends of Young Farmers” has more than doubled in the last twelve months with the membership fee of £25 going 100% to support the future of SAYFC.
Over fifteen competitions were on offer during the weekend for members including the highly anticipated Stockman of the Year which went to Kevin Lawrie (25) of Ayrshire. The highest place junior individual was won by Clyde and Centrals Duncan Thomson (15) and both the seniors and junior’s arts and crafts went to Crossroads YFC.
Once again the show saw the return of the YF Cook Off Kitchen which welcomed members, and supporters to the stage to take on challenges as well as some music and dance. It was also the location for the Ready Steady Country Cook competition where Brechin YFC picked up the trophy after narrowly beating Turriff JAC.
In the Tug of War Biggar YFC Gents retained the title for the fifth year consecutively and Keith JAC were crowned Ladies Winners. The Prime Lamb Dressing competition was won by Strichen YFC and Willie Hurcomb of Stranraer and Rhins YFC was announced as the overall champion in the Young Farmers Sheep Shearing.
SAYFC also ensured there was plenty on offer for those not competing, welcome hundreds of visitors to their centre to learn more about their work. During the four days more than 1000 photographs of members were taken in their photo booth, the Yellow Wellies Farm Safety Foundation talked to visitors about the importance of protecting them and their peers on farms ahead of next week’s Farm Safety Week and Scotmid ran interactive activities for children.
The Scottish Rural Parliament talked about working with rural communities and SAYFC announced a programme of agricultural and business training for rural youth across Scotland.